A new study suggests that the first asteroid to visit our solar system may host ‘alien’ water in its interior. The space rock which was spotted Oct. 19, 2017, has an orbit that suggests that it came from a different solar system.
Because researchers did not see any gas existing the asteroid as it is approaching the Sun, they speculated that it may not contain any water-ice. However, new research suggests alien water may be located under a thick layer of carbon and other chemicals coating the surface.
The study was conducted as part of an ongoing program whose goal is to spot alien life in the cosmos. The space rock, called ‘Oumuamua, was first discovered with help from a radio telescope and radio signals.
The scientists behind the program, dubbed the Breakthrough Listen initiative, have been scouring the space with radio signals but they haven’t found alien life yet. The latest discovery suggests the space rock has an alien origin, but its origin is entirely natural.
The Asteroid is Entirely Natural
The team also looked at the type of reflection coming from Oumuamua and they found an interesting fact. The asteroid is very similar to the icy space bodies population our star system, which are covered with a thick layer of dry dust.
Prof Alan Fitzsimmons, the senior researcher that analyzed the space rock, concluded that there is nothing artificial in it.
- Apparently, the asteroid has built an insulating, carbon-rich coating which can now prevent water from evaporating as the rock is racing toward the Sun.
- This means that even though outside temperatures can reach 300 C, the icy interior remains rock solid.
The team couldn’t tell how large the rock is. They estimate that it may be 1,312-feet-long, and time times larger than wide.
Image Source: NASA.gov