NASA confirm that interstellar object they have discovered is from another solar system
Space is one of those things that I don't bother thinking about as I'll just end up freaking myself out. The vast space the exists above our heads is such an unexplored and unknown quantity that I genuinely believe there is some form of life out there. While I don't necessarily subscribe to the idea that aliens are all-encompassing beings who can talk, walk and communicate with a level of sophistication that humans can, I do believe that they are lurking out there somewhere.
But while we are yet to discover another life form or explore different solar systems, space has chucked something our way which is causing huge interest in the NASA offices. A mysterious object has been spotted making its way past our sun and astronomers believe that it has made its way through another solar system into ours.
But even better than that, it looks like an absolutely massive cigar...
The mysterious rock has been given the easy-to-remember name of 1I/2017 U1 ('Oumuamua), and it's the first ever space rock to be identified as forming around another star, making it's appearance a pretty seismic moment in the history of our studies of space. It was spotted by a telescope in Hawaii on October 19, where it initially appeared as a faint light moving across the sky.
Scientists were keen to observe the mysterious object and after a few weeks, it was concluded that the large rock had originated from outside of our solar system. According to Nature, the rock, which was name comes from the Hawaiian for "messenger" is 400 meters long and could be 10 times long as it is wide. It's also being reported that it is dark red in colour.
It was initially thought that the rock had travelled from star Vega, which is situated 25 lightyears away, but Vega was not in its present position 300,000 years ago when they believe that the object's journey across space would have begun. Because of this, scientists have now dubbed the rock as an "interstellar wonder" that has ended up in our solar system.
Dr. Karen Meech, from the Institute for Astronomy in Hawaii, said: "Oumuamua may well have been wandering through the Milky Way, unattached to any star system, for hundreds of millions of years before its chance encounters with the solar system."
Scientists believe that the asteroid has a high metal content and that it lacks "significant amounts" of water and ice, so sadly there's probably no aliens on there. The red colour is believed to have come from millions of years of cosmic rays bouncing off of its surface.
Meech continued: "This unusually large variation in brightness means that the object is highly elongated.
"We also found that it has a dark red colour, similar to objects in the outer solar system, and confirmed that it is completely inert, without the faintest hint of dust around it."
Paul Chodas, the manager of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said: "What a fascinating discovery this is! It's a strange visitor from a faraway star system, shaped like nothing we've ever seen in our own solar system neighbourhood."
I mean I'm not saying aliens are humongous giants who love to smoke, but looking at the shape of that thing, it doesn't seem too implausible, does it?