In a first, NASA scientists have discovered an interstellar object – a small asteroid or comet that appears to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy.
The object – designated A- 2017 U1 – is less than 400 metres in diameter and is moving remarkably fast. A- 2017 U1 was discovered by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS 1 telescope during the course of its nightly search for near-Earth objects for NASA.
Astronomers are working to point telescopes around the world and in space at this notable object. Once these data are obtained and analysed, astronomers may know more about the origin and possibly composition of the object.