The first ever interstellar object was detecte…



About a month ago was detected Oumuamua, a highly elongated asteroid coming from outside our Solar System.

This is the first time such an “interstellar traveller” is detected : its orbital eccentricity is the highest ever measured in our Solar System, meaning this asteroid travels through our galaxy, the Milky Way.

It was named “ ’Oumuamua ”, the Hawaiian for “scout” – a messenger from the past.

The asteroid’s alien nature is reflected in its bizarre properties : Oumuamua is about 180 meters long but only 30 metres wide, and travels at a up to 88 km/s – a much higher speed than our Solar System’s asteroids’.

The paper was published yesterday in Nature. Make sure to visit its Wikipedia page or the NASA article about it!

Image credit : ESO/M.Kornmesser


New data means new papers! The traveller has deviated from its calculated orbit. By some, this is supposed to be due to jets of gas – emerging with the temperature change as the object travels in the solar system:

More recent research excludes this possibility, and even suggests ‘Oumuamua being a alien light sail

And if you are curious for more, a total of 79 papers have been published on this interesting object.