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Small Asteroid or Comet 'Visits' from Beyond the Solar System

Bringing some of the mysteries of the universe a little closer to home.

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Owlscrying
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:49 pm

A small, recently discovered asteroid -- or perhaps a comet -- appears to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy. If so, it would be the first "interstellar object" to be observed and confirmed by astronomers.

This unusual object – for now designated A/2017 U1 – is less than a quarter-mile (400 meters) in diameter and is moving remarkably fast. Astronomers are urgently working to point telescopes around the world and in space at this notable object. Once these data are obtained and analyzed, astronomers may know more about the origin and possibly composition of the object.

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Owlscrying
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:50 pm

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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This animation shows the path of A/2017 U1, which is an asteroid -- or perhaps a comet -- as it passed through our inner solar system in September and October 2017. From analysis of its motion, scientists calculate that it probably originated from outside of our solar system.

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Owlscrying
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Unread post Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:51 pm

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Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

A/2017 U1 is most likely of interstellar origin. Approaching from above, it was closest to the Sun on Sept. 9. Traveling at 27 miles per second (44 kilometers per second), the comet is headed away from the Earth and Sun on its way out of the solar system.

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Owlscrying
Posts: 1612
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:21 am

Unread post Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:52 pm



This animation shows the path of A/2017 U1, which is an asteroid — or perhaps a comet — as it passed through our inner solar system in September and October 2017. From analysis of its motion, scientists calculate that it probably originated from outside of our solar system.

Approaching from above, it was closest to the Sun on Sept. 9. Traveling at 27 miles per second (44 kilometers per second), A/2017 U1 is headed away from the Earth and Sun on its way out of the solar system.

 
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