Cigar-shaped asteroid came from another solar system

  • A rocky cigar-shaped object detected in space last month came from another solar system, astronomers said on Monday as they confirmed an unprecedented observation.
  • The discovery may provide clues as to how other solar systems formed, said the researchers, who published their study in the British journal Nature.
  • The asteroid, named Oumuamua by its discoverers, is 400 meters long and highly elongated, perhaps 10 times as long as it is wide.
  • That odd shape is unprecedented among the some 7,50,000 asteroids and comets observed in our solar system where they formed, said the researchers.

Once a year

  • They concluded that the cigar-shaped thing is from another solar system due to data on its orbit.
  • Asteroids like Oumuamua enter our solar system about once a year. But they are hard to trace and had not been detected until now, thanks to stronger telescopes.
  • The detection suggests this object had been wandering through our galaxy, the Milky Way, unattached to any star system for hundreds of millions of years before it ran into ours.
  • This history-making discovery is opening a new window to study formation of solar systems beyond our own.
  • The asteroid was detected by a telescope in Hawaii. Oumuamua means messenger in Hawaiian.


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