According to a new study, which the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society recently published, some objects that exist today in our solar system still bear the gravitational touch of a small star that flew very close about 70,000 years ago. At the time, modern humans were roaming the Earth and some of them might have even witnessed this comet. It’s interesting that back in 2015, researchers said that a red dwarf star called Scholtz’s star grazed our solar system about 70,000 years ago.
They reached this conclusion after measuring the velocity and motion of this red dwarf star. It actually travels through space with a companion, a so-called “failed star” or brown star. So, when Scholtz’s star passed by our solar system, early humans and Neanderthals were living together. According to the researchers, some of them might have even witnessed its passing like a faint red light in the sky. However, this recent study adds to the previous one. Carlos de la Fuente Marcos, the leader of the study, and his team, analyzed 339 solar system bodies with hyperbolic orbits.
The mysterious comet that passed nearby our solar system 70,000 years ago
It’s interesting that these kinds of objects can travel to our solar system from interstellar space. Remember ‘Oumuamua, the first solar system visitor from outside it? It is exactly that type of space object. So, according to de la Fuente Marcos, they used numerical simulations to calculate the positions in the sky from where all of these objects appear to come and visit.
The team found an over-density they did not expect near the Gemini constellation. This actually fits with the very close encounter with Scholtz’s star from 70,000 years ago. According to the researchers, even like this, ‘Oumuamua still doesn’t fit it. So, this unusually-shaped object really came from another star system.
Image source: nasa.gov