An asteroid from a DIFFERENT SOLAR SYSTEM was just discovered in ours
Pause your game of Asteroids, space fans! Astronomers spotted an interstellar asteroid traveling through the Milky Way. (We’d forgive you for reading that intro in Kristen Bell’s voice: “Xoxo, Gossip Girl”)
NASA described the asteroid, called Oumuamua, as “a rocky, cigar-shaped object with a reddish hue” that stands approximately 400 meters long. Observers initially mistook it for a comet when they noticed it in September, but NASA reported “no signs of cometary activity after it slingshotted past the Sun.” Oumuamua is considered the “first observed object from outside our solar system,”according to CNN.
The name is Hawaiian and roughly translates to “a messenger from afar arriving first,” per NASA.
Okay, so an asteroid from a distant star system doesn’t exactly confirm the existence of aliens or anything. But it does have important implications when it comes to our understanding of space. As Bustle puts it, “Asteroids like this help astronomers learn more about our galaxy and far-off places outside of our solar system that we don’t know much about.” The publication also states that “Scientists say our solar system could contain as many as 10,000 interstellar visitors,” so Oumuamua is hardly an outlier.
Someone call David Lynch, because it seems like our interstellar guest of honor took some inspiration from Twin Peaks.
Twitter won’t stop talking about Oumuamua’s grand entrance into our solar system.
Some are slightly concerned about the path it might take.
This guy just said what we’re all thinking.
Okay, maybe THIS is what we’re all thinking.
Sure. Let’s go with that.