US astronomers have calculated the number of interstellar objects in the Oort Cloud

US astronomers have calculated the number of interstellar objects in the Oort Cloud

Astronomers from the Smithsonian Institution and Harvard (USA) have shown that the Oort Cloud contains more interstellar objects than celestial bodies that originated in the Solar System. This is reported in an article published in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.

The theory of the formation of planetary systems suggests that there should be fewer alien objects than objects that were originally in the Oort Cloud. However, the very fact of the discovery of the interstellar comet 2I / Borisov shows that the number of interstellar celestial bodies should be much greater at a considerable distance from the Sun, whereas in the immediate vicinity of it, the mass of objects formed from local matter prevails. This hypothesis can be tested using surveys of the shading of stars by bodies in the Oort cloud, such as TAOS II (Transneptunian Automated Occultation Survey), specially designed to detect comets in the far corners of the Solar System.

Astronomers have calculated the estimated proportion of interstellar objects with large assumptions, but even taking this into account, they should prevail over comets and asteroids that originated in the Solar System. Scientists expect that the launch and subsequent observations of the Vera Rubin Observatory in 2022 will allow finding more interstellar objects.

The Oort Cloud is a hypothetical region of the Solar System that is the source of long-period comets. It is assumed that the outer boundaries of the Cloud are located at a distance of 50-100 thousand astronomical units from the Sun (an astronomical unit is equal to the average distance from the Sun to the Earth), which approximately corresponds to 1-2 light-years.

2I/Borisov is an object with a diameter of 20 kilometers, discovered on August 30, 2019. Observations have shown that the comet is moving in a hyperbolic orbit, that is, it came from interstellar and is not gravitationally bound to the Sun.

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