Rock From Another Star System Is Unlike Anything Seen Before
The object, called ‘Oumuamua, is probably an asteroid that’s at least 10 times longer than it is wide.
Something strange sailed past Earth last month, and thanks to some quick work, astronomers managed to get their first good look at a visitor from interstellar space.
Now named ‘Oumuamua, Hawaiian for “a messenger from afar arriving first,” the object is the first known lump of rock and ice from another star system, which gives astronomers a chance to glimpse a scrap left over from an alien planet’s formation.
“This has been crazy-cool. For the asteroid community, this is as big as the gravitational-wave announcement,” NASA astronomer Joseph Masiero said when the object was discovered, referencing the recent detections of ripples in space-time that have been amazing astrophysicists.
And as researchers report today in Nature, the visitor lives up