The first interstellar object was spotted racing through our Solar System. Astronomers caught sight of the object last month which has an unusual elongated cigar shape. The astronomers observing the object have also noticed it is red in color meaning its been in space for a long time.
Lead author at University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy, Karen Meech said, “What we found was a rapidly rotating object, at least the size of a football field.”
The mysterious object known as A/2017U1 was caught on a sophisticated telescope system by researchers at the University of Hawaii. The object has been socially named Oumuamua meaning, “messenger sent from the distant past to reach out to us.”
Associate Administrator at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Thomas Zurbuchen said, “For decades we’ve theorized that such interstellar objects are out there, and now for the first time we have direct evidence they exist.” Zurbuchen further explained interstellar objects are vital to gain information about the formation of other Solar Systems.
Oumuamua is 400 meters in diameter and instantly stood out for scientists because of its size. Unlike any other asteriod or comet, Oumuamua will provide crucial information about the Solar System it comes from.