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Oumuamua & Borisov weren't the only interstellar asteroids; astronomers discovers 19 more

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October 19, 2017, the date when we found Oumuamua. It was very strange discovering an interstellar asteroid & later in 2019 we found Borisov. Now, the researchers are saying these two are not the only interstellar objects in our solar system. A recent report said that astronomers found 19 new interstellar asteroids between the orbits of Jupiter & Neptune.

Centaurs are small bodies with unstable orbits that have characterised as both asteroids & comets. The unique name Centaur was given just because of their unique characteristics. The name denotes a mythological creature which is a combination of Human & Horse. The Centaurs are located between the orbits of Jupiter & Neptune.

The study was published on 23rd April, 2020 in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. According to the report, researchers came to the conclusion after studying Centaurs, that one Centaur known as Ka' epaoka' awela, had a strange orbit exactly like Jupiter, but in the opposite direction. And, this goes against a law of our Solar System where everything travels in the same direction.

Then, the team decided to run a computer simulation to find out the origin of the Centaur Ka' epaoka' awela. After running the simulation they got to know that the Centaur originated 4.5 billion years ago outside of our solar system.

The team then run the same simulation with other Centaurs and they identified 18 more asteroids in our solar system that may be interstellar visitors. 

Scientists said, that the universe was not that big 4 billion years ago as it is now today so the things were closer to each other. And, these asteroids were caught or stolen by the gravity of our sun when the universe was young.

"The close proximity of the stars meant that they felt each others' gravity much more strongly in those early days than they do today", said Fathi Namouni, the lead author of the study and an astronomer at the Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur in France. This enabled asteroids to be pulled from one star system to another".

This explains why interstellar objects like Oumuamua & Borisov do passed through our solar system but didn't stay. The universe has expanded and the gravitational force is now not enough to catch such objects. Now, scientists are saying finding such interstellar objects in our own solar system will help us a lot to know about such objects as we will not have to put extra efforts or wait for those interstellar objects to enter in our solar system to know about them.

"The discovery of a whole population of asteroids of interstellar origin is an important step in understanding the physical and chemical similarities and differences between solar system-born and interstellar asteroids", said Maria Helena Morais, a co-author of the study and astronomer at Universidade Estadual Paulista in Brazil. "This population will give us clues about the sun's early birth cluster, how interstellar asteroid capture occurred, and the role that interstellar matter had in chemically enriching the solar system and shaping its evolution".