It’s official: The celestial physique found by Hawaii astronomers final month has now acquired the primary “I” designation — for interstellar.
The International Astronomical Union says the thing is sort of actually from outdoors the photo voltaic system.
It’s additionally formally been given a reputation: ‘Oumuamua, meant to mirror the way in which the thing is a messenger from a distant previous.
(‘Ou means “reach out for” and “mua” means “in advance of.”)
The object was found final month by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala through the course of its nightly seek for near-Earth objects.
Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher on the UH Institute for Astronomy, recognized the transferring object and submitted it to the Minor Planet Center.
He subsequently searched the Pan-STARRS picture archive and located it was current in photographs taken the earlier night time, however was not initially recognized.
The object is lower than a quarter-mile in diameter, is rotating quickly, and might be greater than 10 occasions longer than it’s broad.
“We have never seen anything in the solar system that is this elongated,” mentioned Lance Benner, of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
It’s additionally transferring quick. So quick, in actual fact, that it is shortly fading from view, heading out of the photo voltaic system and receding from the solar and Earth.
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