NOV 22, 2017 1:58 PM PST

This Was the First Interstellar Space Rock Astronomers Ever Identified

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard


In the middle of October, news sites lit up with the headline that astronomers found the first-known interstellar space rock in the solar system. While they thought it was a comet at first, it had a peculiar orbit and traveled at an insane rate of speed exceeding 85,700 miles per hour.

Given that the cigar-shaped space rock moved faster than any known comet and that asteroids in our solar system are round and lumpy rather than long and thin, astronomers classified the unidentified object as an interstellar asteroid, citing that it came from an alien solar system.

After passing through the heart of our solar system, the Sun's gravitational pull yanked on the object, causing it to make a hard turn toward the Pegasus constellation. Astronomers say it will leave the solar system by 2019, but not without passing in between Jupiter and Saturn first.

Because astronomers didn't see this interstellar hunk of stone coming, it raises the question as to just how many other alien space rocks could be hurtling toward Earth without our knowledge. This discovery opens our eyes to the dangers or interstellar space rocks, in addition to the most massive asteroids that threaten Earth right here in our very own solar system.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
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