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This strange object is the first interstellar asteroid ever observed

By midian182 ยท 12 replies
Nov 21, 2017
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  1. On October 19, astronomers working on the Pan STARRS telescope in Hawaii spotted an object that may have originated from a planetary system around another star. Now, it’s been confirmed that the asteroid is our first interstellar visitor ever detected that's larger than a mote of dust.

    The object has been named “1I/2017 U1 ‘Oumuamua,” the last part roughly translating to “a messenger from afar arriving first” in Hawaiian. As you can see in the image, it’s at least ten times longer than it is wide; a ratio more extreme than any asteroid or comet observed in our solar system.

    It’s been determined that ‘Oumuamua is 400m long (around 1312 feet), rapidly rotating and subject to dramatic changes in brightness. Unlike comets, there’s no gas or dust surrounding it. While its exact origin is unknown, the asteroid appears to have come from the direction of the constellation Lyra.

    It has a “reddish color, similar to objects in the outer Solar System,” Dr. Karen Meech, from the Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu, told the BBC. “It is completely inert, without the faintest hint of dust around it.”

    It’s thought that ‘Oumuamua is made up of rock and possibly metals, lacks water or ice, and that the red effect on its surface is the result of long-term irradiation from cosmic rays.

    While the existence of interstellar objects has been theorized for decades, this is the first direct evidence of one. They’re thought to pass through our solar system quite often, but are usually moving too fast and are too faint to see. Because `Oumuamua entered our solar system at an angle close to the Sun and passed Earth, telescopes were able to spot it.

    ‘Oumuamua is now 124 million miles away from our planet and is increasing that distance by around 85,700 miles every hour. After passing Mars’ orbit on November 1, it’s set to reach Jupiter’s orbit sometime next year.

    Permalink to story.

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2017
  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,950   +1,321

    Looks like a big space turd ;P

    It would be kind of neat if we could have captured it and check out what it was made of. Hopefully not crap.
    H3llion and Reehahs like this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,194   +2,658

    Kind of small for that .... maybe it's just a "universal suppository"
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. Igrecman

    Igrecman TS Maniac Posts: 243   +142

    Could it be an ancient sculpture of a shark of which the fins broke off millions of years ago? Ancient Astronauts Theorists say yes !
  5. Reachable

    Reachable TS Maniac Posts: 271   +125

    I've dispatched one of my assistants to capture it and bring it back. It will look good on my beachfront property on Vanua Levu. It kind of fits, don't you think?
  6. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,562   +949

    Wonder what its calculated mass is.
    stewi0001 likes this.
  7. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 4,032   +2,427

    A turd of a celestial being. Who knows, our solar system could easily be a toilet in this galaxy - wouldn't surprise me.
  8. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Guru Posts: 446   +489

    If you're a smart alien that is the kind of thing you ride around in. Came for a quick tour of our solar system, didn't find any noteworthy intelligent life, cruised on through and out the other side.
  9. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 417   +274

    Jesus. Yet another CGI image presented as a photo, and the unwashed nerd masses go wild. These guys are just pathetic.
  10. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,530   +350

    omg haha you beat me to it
    stewi0001 likes this.
  11. LeroN

    LeroN TS Enthusiast Posts: 62   +22

    But astronomers were very tolerant and called it the cigar-shaped object.
    stewi0001 likes this.
  12. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,950   +1,321

    Or they lacked a sense of humor ;)
  13. OutlawCecil

    OutlawCecil TS Guru Posts: 484   +336

    How amazing would it be to be able to capture an object like this and study it. We could learn things far beyond our current understanding with every object like this that comes to us. Too bad it's like catching a fly with a needle.

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