The first interstellar asteroid spotted in our galaxy


Using the Pan-STARRS1 telescope in , astronomers determined that traveling at high speed and originating from interstellar space named ‘Oumuamua and given the official scientific designation 1I/2017 U1  looped around the sun on Sept. 9 and made its closest pass by Earth on Oct. 14. It is zooming away from us now at about 85,700 mph (137,900 km/h) relative to the sun, officials said.

Oumuamua -asteroid
The asteroid Oumuamua

The object is like nothing we’ve ever seen before. It is an irregularly shaped asteroid. It spins on its axis every 7.3 hours being highly elongated: about 10 times as long as it is wide, at least 1,300 feet (400 m) long, rocky (with some metal perhaps mixed in), relatively dense and shaped like a cigar. “We also found that it has a dark red color, similar to objects in the outer solar system, and confirmed that it is completely inert, without the faintest hint of dust around it,” astronomers said. Using the /European Space Agency Hubble Space Telescope and ’s Spitzer space telescope, astronomers continue to study ‘Oumuamua as it heads toward the outer solar system.


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