Science.-How to distinguish the impact crater of an interstellar object – Publimetro México

Madrid, 12 (European press)

Examination of these has gained notable interest throughout the scientific community since the discoveries and subsequent investigations of ‘Oumuamua and Comet 2I/Borisov in 2017 and 2019, respectively.

In their paper, submitted to Earth and Planetary Astrophysics and available on arXiv, the Yale researchers discuss how the magnitude of impact melt within fixed-diameter craters might be a possible way to identify craters from an interstellar object, since higher velocity impacts produce greater. dissolution volume.

“Oumuamua and Borisov were historic discoveries,” said Samuel Cabot, a doctoral student in the department of astronomy at Yale University. “They have generated a huge response in the astrophysics community. Currently, there is no theory that adequately explains all aspects of ‘Oumuamua.” The strongest arguments to date point to an entirely new type of astronomical object, beyond the asteroids and comets we’re dealing with. of the composition of the planet.

In their study, the researchers conducted hydrodynamic simulations with projectiles of different masses and impact speeds of up to 100 kilometers. per second. The researchers chose a top speed of 100 km. per second, since it is currently assumed that influences within our solar system never reach a speed equal to or greater than this speed, so these speeds are rarely used in the scientific literature.

While the paper discusses how craters with melt size to diameter ratios can be used to identify craters from an interstellar object, it concludes that their location may soon be possible through in-situ (original) analysis or return samples from robots and manned. missions.

The study focused specifically on lunar impacts, because “a distinguishing feature of interstellar objects is their relatively high encounter speed compared to asteroids and comets,” the paper states.

“The most promising indications of interstellar influence include chemical analysis of the material in and around the crater,” Capote explains. “The Artemis missions may be crucial here, as they will provide some of the first opportunities to analyze soil and rocks on the Moon since the Apollo program. However, at the moment, it is difficult to pinpoint a specific crater.”

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