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Solar System's First Interstellar Visitor Dazzles Scientists New data reveal first detected interstellar object to be a rocky, and up to one-quarter mile (400 meters) long and highly-elongated-perhaps 10 times as long as it is wide.
originally posted by: carewemust.....
Maybe mankind should invest more into early warning systems and missiles that can destroy incoming bodies.
"What a fascinating discovery this is!" said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "It's a strange visitor from a faraway star system, shaped like nothing we've ever seen in our own solar system neighborhood." Astronomers recently scrambled to observe an intriguing asteroid that zipped through the solar system on a steep trajectory from interstellar space-the first confirmed object from another star. Now, new data reveal the interstellar interloper to be a rocky, cigar-shaped object with a somewhat reddish hue. The asteroid, named 'Oumuamua by its discoverers, is up to one-quarter mile (400 meters) long and highly-elongated-perhaps 10 times as long as it is wide. That aspect ratio is greater than that of any asteroid or comet observed in our solar system to date. While its elongated shape is quite surprising, and unlike asteroids seen in our solar system, it may provide new clues into how other solar systems formed. The observations and analyses were funded in part by NASA and appear in the Nov. 20 issue of the journal Nature. They suggest this unusual object had been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system. "For decades we've theorized that such interstellar objects are out there, and now - for the first time - we have direct evidence they exist," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "This history-making discovery is opening a new window to study formation of solar systems beyond our own."