March 21, 2018

NASA discovers first 'Interstellar Object', not Nibiru or Planet X

29 October 2017, 01:26 | Francis Delgado

NASA discovers first 'Interstellar Object', not Nibiru or Planet X

While most comets follow ellipse-shaped orbits around the sun this comet appears to orbit at an angle and doesn't circle the sun. Its orbital path suggests it entered our solar system from the direction of the constellation Lyra looped around the sun

The object zoomed into our solar system from above the path in which most planets and asteroids orbit the sun, called the ecliptic. An asteroid? A UFO piloted by little green aliens?

Astronomers are tracking what they believe may be the first observed interstellar asteroid or comet to travel through Earth's solar system, NASA said.

By looking more closely at the route, the NASA team worked out more: that it had come from the direction of the constellation Lyra.

Scientists have detected the dusty tails of six exocomets - comets outside our solar system - orbiting a faint star 800 light years from Earth. "So far, everything indicates this is likely an interstellar object, but more data would help to confirm it". Neither seems to be the case for A/2017 U1. Tugged by the sun's gravity, it reversed course and hurtled back above the elliptic at an angle, passing about 15 million miles from Earth on October 14.

The object was discovered October 19 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope during a nightly search for near-Earth objects, NASA said. Astronomers are soon working to direct the telescope to the whole world and to be in outer space on the object. Once these data are obtained and analyzed, astronomers may know more about the origin and possibly the composition of the object. (NASA has prepared this nice visualization of the object's path.) On 9 September, it made its closest approach to the sun, with gravity then tugging it on a route "under" the solar system.

It has the "most extreme" orbit that NASA scientist Davide Farnocchia has ever seen.

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Based on its weird trajectory, astronomers believe C/2017 U1 may be the first comet ever seen that came from interstellar space and through our solar system. A/2017 U1 has moved out of ecliptic plane and is now moving towards the Constellation Pegasus at a speed of 27 miles (44 Km) per second.

"This is the first example of a truly interstellar object visiting our solar system", astrophysicist and Senior Lecturer at Rochester Institute of Technology Brian Koberlein said in an email to Futurism. So much material is flung about during the chaotic process of forming planets that it's likely some bits and pieces might escape and make their way to other solar systems.

The small body has been assigned the temporary designation A/2017 U1 by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where all observations on small bodies in our solar system - and now those just passing through - are collected.

Since this is the first object of its kind ever found, the rules for naming this type of object need to be established by the International Astronomical Union.

"We have been waiting for this day for decades".

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