Astronomers say the Oort Cloud at the fringe of our solar system might be packed with interstellar debris.
The latest study follows the arrival of Borisov. This snowball approached Earth in 2019 and was discovered to be from other solar systems. It is the first and only interstellar comet ever discovered by scientists.
However, a recent study shows that the item is not uncommon and that interstellar visitors - including comets, asteroids, and other debris - may be considerably more numerous than previously thought.
Harvard astronomers Amir Siraj and Avi Loeb published the study titled "Interstellar Objects Outnumber Solar System Objects in the Oort Cloud," in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Edge of Solar System Filled With 'Interstellar Objects'
According to the latest research, the Oort Cloud, which is a hypothetical debris shell at the frontier of our solar system, might include more interstellar objects than those that started in our neighborhood.
Siraj, Harvard's Department of Astronomy's concurrent undergraduate and graduate student at and the study's lead author, said in a statement that they had no clue how many interstellar objects there were in our solar system. He now claims that planetary system theory implies that there should be fewer visitors than permanent residents.
Scientists used data collected by Borisov during its voyage to calculate the results of the research. Hence, there are many unknowns regarding how many interstellar travelers there are. But it appears that there are a lot more than those who are native to our solar system.
NASA said the Oort cloud is a speculative notion of ice particles in the solar system's furthest reaches.
Astronomer Gennady Borisov discovered Comet 2I/Borisov in August 2019, the space agency added. Daily Mail said the said comet is thought to have originated from a twin star system 13 light-years from Earth. Its journey started almost 1 million years ago.
Oort Cloud Remains Hidden At The Solar System's Edge; How to Spot Them?
Despite the enormous number of visits, only one confirmed interstellar comet had been discovered. That might be partly due to their invisibility. Forbes said the Oort Cloud is up to 100 trillion miles away from the Sun. According to Cosmos Magazine, the said celestial object does not produce any light of its own. Hence, it remains hidden at the solar system's edge.
Scientists estimate the Oort cloud could include as many as 10 quadrillion particles. However, this number is up for discussion, considering that it has never been seen.
However, researchers aim to put the data to the test using closer and more accessible to observe than the Oort Cloud. Researchers will study data on discovered asteroids to see whether they are genuinely interstellar asteroids that haven't been recognized as such.
The launch of the Vera C Rubin Observatory next year will aid much of this work. According to researchers, that telescope will detect many more interstellar visitors, now being built in Chile. Astronomers will use that information to figure out how many of them are in our solar system.
Check out more news and information on Space in Science Times.