- 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.