Asteroids reflect ten times more light.
After analyzing the Spitzer telescope data, astronomers discovered that the first interstellar objects discovered – Omului asteroids – were almost twice as small as previously thought. This study was published in The Astronomical Journal.
Asteroid 1I / Omwamwi was discovered in October 2017. Initially it was considered a comet, but later astronomers agreed to the opinion that it was an unusual asteroid shaped cigar. According to previous data, which scientists have used the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope, Hubble and other observatories, Omwamwi's length can be no more than 800 meters. To get new information about it, NASA astronomers in November 2017 were directed to the Spitzer asteroid infrared telescope.
But within two months the telescope was unable to repair Omwamwi's footsteps. Based on this, astronomers have concluded that the size of asteroids is far less than those who can "see" Spitzer. To estimate the size of Omwamwi, scientists have decided to use three independent models to determine the maximum dimensions of objects that can improve telescopes. They receive results of 100, 140 and 440 meters – that is, Spitzer will see any object with maximum dimensions ranging from 100 to 440 meters. So, it is within these limits, and is the length of the Omwamwi cigar.
In addition, astronomers found that the asteroid reflected ten times more light than flying into the Solar System from the comet. This conclusion the researchers made because of the temperature of Omwamwi: the smaller, lighter and reflecting heat.