Scientists suggest to send a probe to Omwamwi potential interstellar object

Omului – potentially the first interstellar object, seen by mankind. Scientists have proposed to catch up and learn. An object twice as long as the Eiffel tower, noticed in the fall of 2017 through a telescope in Hawaii, which is usually hunting for asteroids. Similar to a cigar Omwamwi flew by at a rate of more than 95 thousand kilometers per hour. He had the characteristics of both an asteroid and a comet.

Further analysis of the trajectory and speed showed that Omului – translated from the Hawaiian “scout” – came to us from another star system, passed the Sun and is heading further into the vastness of space. It has deprived us of the opportunity to study it in more detail. At least, as previously believed, say researchers from Project Lyra.

Project Lyra

Just two weeks after opening Omwamwi British non-profit organization Initiative for Interstellar Studies has announced the beginning of the project Lira (Lyra Project). Its purpose was the organization of the mission in an attempt to catch up with the “scout”.

And here they are ready to present an updated version of the mission plan. According to developer Adam Hibbert, they know “what that mission is, at least theoretically, possible.”

In the year of the asteroid flies around 804 million kilometers (the distance from Earth to Jupiter). By the end of 2030-ies he will enter interstellar space.

How to catch up with the object

In order to catch up with the authors of the project propose to use either the Falcon Heavy from SpaceX, or Space Launch System from NASA. To catch, the camera will have to use the gravity of Jupiter and the Sun.

To run the unit offer in 2030, then it will catch up Omwamwi in the area of the 2049 at the point at five distances from the Sun to Pluto. For comparison, among the devices record for the distance is by Voyager 1. For 40 years he traveled 24 billion kilometres. The unit Lira will need to fly 32 billion in just 20 years.

Scientists of the project believe that the data collected Omwamwi can “fundamentally change the understanding of our place in the Universe.”

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