Oumuamua: Our First Interstellar Visitor

It’s official, we’re not alone in the universe.

In late 2017, NASA and other star gazers noticed a strange “interstellar interloper” traveling through our solar system.

Unlike typical spherical-shaped asteroids (which pass by Earth pretty regularly), this object is believed to be long and cigar-shaped.

Illustration – Image Credit NASA JPL

With the help of telescope observation, Scientists used speed and trajectory measurements to determine the object originated from another solar system.

The discovery is significant because it marks the first time that mankind has documented material of any kind traveling into our solar system.. Although this is the first discovery of it’s kind, NASA has anticipated the arrival of interstellar asteroids for decades – we’ve just never actually seen one, until now.

And we’re pretty lucky to have seen this one. The first sighting of the asteroid, now named “Oumuamua”, was on October 19th, 2017, roughly 5 days after the asteroid took it’s closes pass by Earth.. Meaning, we only started keeping tabs on this thing as it was heading away from us.

Oumuamua has now safely exited our solar system, but the discovery has lead many in the scientific community to speculate as to where exactly this object came from, and how it got here. Some have even gone as far as to suggest the object may have been sent by aliens to survey our solar system.

Check out the video below to learn more about Oumuamua, our first interstellar visitor…

Read more here from NASA or Gizmodo.

 

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