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Saturday, October 28, 2017

A small, recently discovered asteroid -- or perhaps a comet -- appears to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy. If so, it would be the first "interstellar object" to be observed and confirmed by astronomers. This unusual object -- for now designated A/2017 U1 -- is less than a quarter-mile (400 meters) in diameter and is moving remarkably fast.




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Astronomers are urgently working to point telescopes around the world and in space at this notable object. Once these data are obtained and analyzed, astronomers may know more about the origin and possibly composition of the object.

A/2017 U1 was discovered Oct. 19 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii, during the course of its nightly search for near-Earth objects for NASA. Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA), was first to identify the moving object and submit it to the Minor Planet Center. Weryk subsequently searched the Pan-STARRS image archive and found it also was in images taken the previous night, but was not initially identified by the moving object processing.

Weryk immediately realized this was an unusual object. "Its motion could not be explained using either a normal solar system asteroid or comet orbit," he said. Weryk contacted IfA graduate Marco Micheli, who had the same realization using his own follow-up images taken at the European Space Agency's telescope on Tenerife in the Canary Islands. But with the combined data, everything made sense. Said Weryk, "This object came from outside our solar system."


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Here is a video of what happened, with Stephen King explaining: www.youtube.com

#1 | Posted by HeliumRat at 2017-10-28 12:12 AM | Reply


Just imagine how long that object was on course to finally make contact with our solar system. Obviously not a first in practical terms, but incredible to consider investigating this bastard in the far future when we're able to harness comets and asteroids into Earth's orbit.

#2 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-10-28 12:18 AM | Reply

They always come in threes.

#3 | Posted by HanoverFist at 2017-10-28 08:39 AM | Reply

"They always come in threes"-Hanoverfist


#4 | Posted by SLBronkowitz at 2017-10-28 08:44 AM | Reply

I'd like to see it impact something. anything.

#5 | Posted by SheepleSchism at 2017-10-28 09:45 AM | Reply



A great book.

#6 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-10-28 09:05 PM | Reply

If this is Rama, can Lama and Ding Dong be far behind?

#7 | Posted by snoofy at 2017-10-28 09:07 PM | Reply

Great as long as it doesn't change course....

Moving at quite a click, too bad we can't get a probe to piggyback.

#8 | Posted by dibblda at 2017-10-29 06:15 PM | Reply

For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky...

In this episode, the crew of the Enterprise rush to stop an asteroid from colliding with a Federation world, but discover the asteroid is actually an inhabited generation ship.

#9 | Posted by Pegasus at 2017-10-29 11:19 PM | Reply

Finally the aliens have come to take Trump home.

#10 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-10-30 10:31 AM | Reply

Comments are closed for this entry.

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