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Scientists Are Astonished With Our First Interstellar Visitor

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On October 19, 2017,  the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii spotted something strange zooming through our solar system. It turned out to be a visitor from beyond our solar system, and it’s unlike anything astronomers have seen before stated cnn.com.

‘Oumuamua  (name of interstellar rock) is dense, comprised of rock and possibly metals, has no water or ice, and that its surface was reddened due to the effects of irradiation from cosmic rays over hundreds of millions of years according to www.nasa.gov.

“For decades we’ve theorized that such interstellar objects are out there, and now – for the first time – we have direct evidence they exist. This history-making discovery is opening a new window to study formation of solar systems beyond our own,” said Thomas Zurbuchen stated according to  www.nasa.gov.

Astronomers led by Karen Meech of the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii said, “Now, new data from NASA reveal the interstellar interloper to be a rocky, cigar-shaped object with a somewhat reddish hue. This unusually big variation in brightness means that the object is highly elongated: about ten times as long as it is wide, with a complex, convoluted shape.  We also found that it had a reddish color, similar to objects in the outer solar system, and confirmed that it is completely inert, without the faintest hint of dust around it ”, according to www.nasa.gov from Astronomers at NASA that worked with Karen Meech.

Combining the images from the FORS instrument on the ESO (Electro-Optical System) telescope using four different filters with those of other large telescopes, a team of astronomers led by Karen Meech of the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii found that ‘Oumuamua varies in brightness by a factor of ten as it spins on its axis every 7.3 hours reported www.nasa.gov.

Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California said,“What a fascinating discovery this is! It’s a strange visitor from a faraway star system, shaped like nothing we’ve ever seen in our own solar system neighborhood,” stated www.nasa.gov

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Scientists Are Astonished With Our First Interstellar Visitor