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.
You May Also Like
NOV 24, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Want to Keep Calm? Tap Water Might Help
NOV 24, 2020
Want to Keep Calm? Tap Water Might Help
The ongoing worldwide pandemic places the mental health of many communities on red alert. But there may be a remedy to e ...
DEC 10, 2020
Plants & Animals
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
DEC 10, 2020
The Surprising Way Honeybees Protect Hives from Hornets
"Murder hornets," more commonly known as giant hornets, might be new to North America, but in their native ran ...
DEC 15, 2020
Immunology
The Possibility of Improving an Older Adult's Response to Vaccines
DEC 15, 2020
The Possibility of Improving an Older Adult's Response to Vaccines
A recent study published in the eLife journal examined how they can improve older adults' responses to vaccines ...
MAR 03, 2021
Plants & Animals
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
MAR 03, 2021
Can Arctic Bearded Seals Compete with Human Noise?
Vocal communication is a primary key to survival for many species, including the Arctic Ocean's bearded seals. Accor ...
APR 09, 2021
Plants & Animals
Celebrating National Pet Day
APR 09, 2021
Celebrating National Pet Day
Sunday, April 11, is National Pet Day! From pandemic companions to viral videos, pets are a huge part of our lives. Even ...
JUL 03, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Size of Planet Iron Core Depends on Star Magnetism
JUL 03, 2021
Size of Planet Iron Core Depends on Star Magnetism
Researchers led by the University of Maryland have found that the sun's magnetic field is the reason behind the larg ...
Loading Comments...