The unusual object was discovered October 19, 2017 by the University of Hawaiʻi's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakalā during the course of its nightly search for Near-Earth Objects for NASA. After all, those are the only ones we've ever seen. Astronomers would love to know what it's made of, but it's so dim that spectra - light that observers use to determine the compositions of celestial objects - have so far revealed little information. These orbits have an eccentricity - a measure used to describe orbital shape - of less than 1.
A small, recently discovered asteroid - or perhaps a comet - appears to have originated from outside the solar system, coming from somewhere else in our galaxy. To open the body became possible due to the powerful radio emission of the quasar.By this time astronomers have determined the density, moving speed and other data of the object. And despite its excursion near the Sun, it did not develop a tail - as a comet would - and so astronomers are now classifying it as an asteroid.
The previously unknown space rock, now designated A/2017 U1, dropped into our solar system from above the flattish ecliptic plane where most planets, asteroids and comets native to our system rotate around the sun.
Researchers have anticipated interstellar visitors for years. Subsequently, the massive gravity of the sun slung the object into a sharp turn under the solar system. "We immediately began to study it with William Herschel Telescope in the Canary Islands, then with the Very Large Telescope in Chile", said Professor Alan Fitzsimmons, as quoted by Daily Mail, Tuesday (10/31/2017).
In a first for the whole of mankind, stunning images have been released of what is believed to be the first "alien" comet humans have ever seen in our solar system. The interstellar visitor is traveling quite fast on a trajectory which will see it go out of the solar system, without heading back, according to NASA's Davide Farnocchia.
Founded in 1967, the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa conducts research into galaxies, cosmology, stars, planets, and the sun.
This schematic diagram of our solar system shows the dramatic path of A/2017 U1 (dashed line) as it crossed the plane of the planets (known as the ecliptic), and then turned and headed back out.
For now, the unidentified object is called A/2017 U1.