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Is the alien chunk 'Oumuamua actually a hydrogen iceberg?

4 Jun 2020, 13:00 UTC
Is the alien chunk 'Oumuamua actually a hydrogen iceberg?
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Every time I wonder just how weird 'Oumuamua is, some scientists step in and come up with ideas that are even weirder.

Is it a comet? (maybe) Is it a spaceship? (No) Is it the remains of a shattered alien planet? (cooool, but doesn't explain everything) Is it a giant fractal snowflake? (What? Well, yeah, possibly)

The newest: It may be a hydrogen iceberg slowly grown in the core of a gigantic star-making factory and nudged into a galactic orbit.

OK, wow. Yeah, let's back up. 'Oumuamua* is the first interstellar object ever found to pass through our solar system. Unlike the planets and asteroids and comets that orbit the Sun, this thing came barreling in from deep space, literally from somewhere else in the galaxy. We know this from its orbit: Due to the Sun's gravity, objects orbiting it move at speeds that depends on the shape of their orbit and distance from the Sun. 'Oumuamua is moving way too fast to be bound to the Sun, so it came from Out There, and to Out There will it return.

Yeah, it's not coming back.

That's not the only weird thing about it. It was expected to be a ...

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