Last week, researchers spotted a foreign object which is likely a visitor from interstellar space, in our solar system. This was the first time in history they detected such an object that has the name A/2017 U1. The Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii was the one that actually noticed the anomaly. In an official statement, the researchers said that they have been waiting for this special moment for entire years, even decades.
This is the first time an object that was thought to exist was actually spotted by a telescope. Those are usually comets or asteroids that travel between stars and sometimes happen to also arrive and pass through our own solar system. For now, all data suggests that what the telescope saw it’s one of those objects. However, more research is needed to be sure.
Interstellar visitor passing through
For now, the team of experts are saying it is an interstellar object because of its orbit that it hyperbolic. This means that the path of the orbit it is taking this foreign object through and out of our solar system. It’s not like hyperbolic objects have never been detected before, but those were only pushed into certain escape trajectories by the gravitational force resulted from their interactions with certain planets.
So, according to the scientists, every other possible theory as to what this object is or came from doesn’t seem to work. This is why they are almost completely sure that this visitor came from elsewhere. As to what it actually is, this is a mystery too. When the telescope first saw it, the experts thought it was a comet. However, upon further investigation, they couldn’t find its coma. This is the cloud of gas and dust that is surrounding a comet.
Now, the they think it’s an asteroid that could be made more of ice than of rock. Still, they are not certain this time either.
Image source: nasa.gov
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