Oumuamua (1I/2017 U1) is the first object of interstellar origin observed in the Solar System. Recently, Micheli et al. (2018) reported that Oumuamua showed deviations from a Keplerian orbit at a high statistical significance. The observed trajectory is best explained by an excess radial acceleration Da µ r−2, where r is the distance of Oumuamua from the Sun. Such an acceleration is naturally expected for comets, driven by the evaporating material. However, recent observational and theoretical studies imply that Oumuamua is not an active comet. We explore the possibility that the excess acceleration results from Solar radiation pressure. The requiredmass-to-area ratio is (m/A)≈0.1 g cm−2. For a thin sheet this requires a thickness of ≈0.3−0.9mm. We find that although extremely thin, such an object would survive an interstellar travel over Galactic distances of ∼ 5 kpc, withstanding collisions with gas and dust-grains as well as stresses from rotation and tidal forces. We discuss the possible origins of such an object. Our general results apply to any light probes designed for interstellar travel.
Bialy S., and Loeb, A, 2018, Astrophysical Journal, accepted回上一頁