An Asteroid from Interstellar Space!

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Now, that is astonishing!

Astronomers, the Pan-STARRS team, have named it “Oumuamua” (pronounced oh MOO-uh MOO-uh), which is Hawaiian for “a messenger from afar arriving first.”

It seems a vague poorly formed “Arrow head” shaped object – an asteroid, passed by our planet. This mysterious piece is dark and reddish in color same as other objects in the interstellar space – just outside our solar system. Unlike comets, this object doesn’t have any gas or dust surrounding it. It is thick and is made up of rock and possibly metals with no water or no ice and that’s how its surface reddened due to the effects of radiation from cosmic rays over hundreds of millions of years.

Astronomers says it is up to one-quarter mile (400 meters) long and highly elongated. It is definitely a peculiar object to be an asteroid. Our space-scientists believe that this might provide clues how other solar systems were formed.

It was close to 200 million kilometers from Earth – the same distance between Jupiter and Mars. This object passed Mars on November 1 2017 and will pass Jupiter in May 2018. It will travel beyond Saturn’s orbit in January 2019 and will leave our solar system heading to the constellation Pegasus. Initial orbital calculations suggested that the object came from approximate direction of the bright star Vega, in the northern constellation of Lyra. However, it took long for this guy to make the journey – even though this guy traveled at the speed of about 59,000 miles per hour – the Vega was not near that position when the asteroid was there about 300,000 years ago.

The Orbit of ‘Oumuamua
Its Trajectory

NASA and many other space observatories are going to keep track of this space-object-alien as it exits our solar system.

This is truly an enthralling discovery in history (surely among many!) but this discovery has given an excitement for people like us – the dreamers, to anticipate more.

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