I'm sure most people have heard a little about our latest find in space, 1I/2017 U1 or Oumuamua (which is Hawaiian for, "a messenger from afar arriving first").
Oumuamua is a interstellar object which was discovered Oct. 19, 2017 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS1 telescope, funded by NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations (NEOO) Program, which finds and tracks asteroids and comets in Earth's neighborhood. While originally classified as a comet, observations revealed no signs of cometary activity after it slingshotted past the Sun on Sept. 9, 2017 at a blistering speed of 196,000 miles per hour (87.3 kilometers per second).
It is the first interstellar object to be discovered in out solar system, although statistically there should be about one per year entering out solar system. Interstellar objects are dim and usually too small to be seen easily.
Continuing observations have provided a little bit more information.
It entered the solar system from the direction of the star Vega, however further calculations indicate that it didn't begin it's journey from Vega, as even at the incredible speed of tens of miles per second that Oumuamua can travel, Vega wasn't in the position where it is today, 300,000 years ago! So where it came from still remains a mystery, and one we may never know the answer to.
Oumuamua seems to be made of metals and rocks. it spins on its axis every 7.3 hours, and has a very red color.
It is about 400 meters long and roughly 40 meters at its widest. It's dimensional proportions are extreme and very unusual for a asteroid, adding to the mystery.
Now that sounds huge! Right? Wrong. It's not really all that big, at least as far as such things go> In fact, it's downright minuscule. Well compared to our even smaller size, it is huge, but just how much larger? Well, I made a size comparison chart of the object and something we all know and have probably seen, either in person or in pictures, an aircraft carrier.
The representation of Oumuamua I drew on Windows paint, and resized an image of a aircraft carrier to the appropriate size.
Without further ado...
Click on the image to enlarge it.
The practicalities and the mechanics of even the strange, mysterious and the weird, require some basis for their existence and appearances, so enter science. Here is where postulates, hypothesis', theory, and the like, is offered and discussed in support of, and even, against (constructively) such explanations.
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