Flying Nuggets


Artist's impression of ╩╗Oumuamua.jpg
By Original: ESO/M. Kornmesser Derivative: nagualdesign - Derivative of, shortened (65%) and reddened and darkened, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

Meet Oumuamua! In the Hawaiian language, the word means "scout". And this is how an artist visualizes this first interstellar visitor to pass through our Solar System. What is an interstellar object? And is it really the first such object we have ever seen here on our little blue ball of mostly water?

An interstellar object is anything (comet, asteroid, a spacecraft, or indeed a rock) that travels between stars. This hunk of rock is literally too fast for our Sun to capture in it's orbit. As the saying goes though, always read the fine print. This is the first such known visitor to our Solar System. Which implies that its perhaps not really the first.

Check this out from NASA's JPL: Pretty cool! Another area of interest: Oumuamua most likely came from a binary star system, per the Royal Astronomical Society: And according to astronomer Wesley Fraser:, this particular asteroid didn't glide smoothly through space. Instead it's actually tumbling and flipping it's way through space.

So this chunk of rock is rather interesting.