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
MAR 25, 2020
Cardiology
MAR 25, 2020
Staying Fit While Avoiding COVID-19
For those used to working out at a gym, the current circumstances requiring us all to remain isolated as much as possibl ...
MAR 31, 2020
Space & Astronomy
MAR 31, 2020
Can Viruses Survive in Outer Space?
Outer space is often depicted as a harsh environment. It’s effectively an airless vacuum, and anything residing th ...
APR 16, 2020
Earth & The Environment
APR 16, 2020
Scientists Discover Evidence of Ancient Rainforest in Antarctica
Back in 2017, Dr. Johann Klages and his team were going about their usual business of drilling into the seafloor to extr ...
APR 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 20, 2020
Here's How the ESA's CHEOPS Mission Works
Exoplanetary detections have exploded exponentially since the first discovery of one by Swedish astronomers in 1995. The ...
MAY 22, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 22, 2020
Mount St. Helens: 40 Years of Recovery
This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption in southwestern Washington. According to ...
MAY 27, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
MAY 27, 2020
Light-Bearing Ether: How a Historical Null Result Revolutionized Modern Physics
Ether (or aether) is a term used in ancient mythology and medieval science to denote the matter that fills in the void o ...
Loading Comments...