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Where the Solar system meets the solar neighbourhood: patterns in the distribution of radiants of observed hyperbolic minor bodies
de la Fuente Marcos, Carlos; de la Fuente Marcos, Raúl; Aarseth, Sverre J.
AA(Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, E-28040 Madrid, Spain), AB(Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, E-28040 Madrid, Spain), AC(Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK)
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, Advance Access (MNRAS Homepage)
Publication Date:
Astronomy Keywords:
methods: statistical, celestial mechanics, minor planets, asteroids: general, comets: general, Oort Cloud, solar neighbourhood
Abstract Copyright:
2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society
Bibliographic Code:


Observed hyperbolic minor bodies might have an interstellar origin, but they can be natives of the Solar system as well. Fly-bys with the known planets or the Sun may result in the hyperbolic ejection of an originally bound minor body; in addition, members of the Oort cloud could be forced to follow inbound hyperbolic paths as a result of secular perturbations induced by the Galactic disc or, less frequently, due to impulsive interactions with passing stars. These four processes must leave distinctive signatures in the distribution of radiants of observed hyperbolic objects, both in terms of coordinates and velocity. Here, we perform a systematic numerical exploration of the past orbital evolution of known hyperbolic minor bodies using a full N-body approach and statistical analyses to study their radiants. Our results confirm the theoretical expectations that strong anisotropies are present in the data. We also identify a statistically significant overdensity of high-speed radiants towards the constellation of Gemini that could be due to the closest and most recent known fly-by of a star to the Solar system, that of the so-called Scholz's star. In addition to and besides 1I/2017 U1 (`Oumuamua), we single out eight candidate interstellar comets based on their radiants' velocities.
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