1I/’Oumuamua as an N2 ice fragment of an exo-pluto surface. II. Generation of N2 ice fragments and the origin of ‘Oumuamua
Posted: Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Steven J. Desch, Alan P. Jackson
The origin of the interstellar object 1I/’Oumuamua, has defied explanation. In a companion paper (Jackson & Desch, 2021), we show that a body of N2 ice with axes 45 m x 44 m x 7.5 m at the time of observation would be consistent with its albedo, non-gravitational acceleration, and lack of observed CO or CO2 or dust. Here we demonstrate that impacts on the surfaces of Pluto-like Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) would have generated and ejected ~10^14 collisional fragments–roughly half of them H2O ice fragments and half of them N2 ice fragments–due to the dynamical instability that depleted the primordial Kuiper belt. We show consistency between these numbers and the frequency with which we would observe interstellar objects like 1I/’Oumuamua, and more comet-like objects like 2I/Borisov, if other stellar systems eject such objects with efficiency like that of the Sun; we infer that differentiated KBOs and dynamical instabilities that eject impact-generated fragments may be near-universal among extrasolar systems. Galactic cosmic rays would erode such fragments over 4.5 Gyr, so that fragments are a small fraction (~0.1%) of long-period Oort comets, but C/2016 R2 may be an example. We estimate ‘Oumuamua was ejected about 0.4-0.5 Gyr ago, from a young (~10^8 yr) stellar system, which we speculate was in the Perseus arm. Objects like ‘Oumuamua may directly probe the surface compositions of a hitherto-unobserved type of exoplanet: “exo-plutos”. ‘Oumuamua may be the first sample of an exoplanet brought to us.
Comments: 29 pages, 1 figure. Companion to Jackson & Desch (2021), “1I/’Oumuamua as an N2 ice fragment of an exo-pluto surface. I. Size and compositional constraints”
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2103.08812 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2103.08812v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
From: Steve Desch
[v1] Tue, 16 Mar 2021 02:50:31 UTC (3,321 KB)
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