Interstellar Asteroid, not a Comet
The first interstellar visitor known to man has come and gone. Which is quite a big deal. What this really means is that an object from outside our little happy group of planets and associated blobs, being our solar system, has had a visitor.
It was not exactly unexpected, being anticipated for over a decade, but the scientists were expecting a comet and not an asteroid.
The main difference between the two is the composition. Comets are made of ice, dust and rocky materials whereas asteroids are metal and rocky material. They were both formed at the start of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago.
Most objects whirling around are comets and asteroids are very uncommon, so again this was another big deal.
The pictures of what it looks like are impressive but are simply someones imagination, since we have no idea. What we do know is that its 180 meters long and about 30 wide, so cigar shaped is what its being called.
Most asteroids are spherical, so this shape has also been unexpected, as something that long would find it difficult to hold its shape in our solar system, so scientists are now wondering how different another system would have to be, to allow such shapes to exist.
It is also spinning, once every 8 hours, and so it has been speculated that it could be an alien spaceship disguised as an asteroid and the spinning is giving the inhabitants gravity. This was once the basis of a novel by Arthur C. Clarke, Rendezvous with Rama.
It was discovered by Rob Weryk of the University of Hawaii and its name roughly translated from Hawaiian means “ a messenger from afar arriving first”, though it has also been transited as ‘Scout’.
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