Midnight In The Desert — asteroids

Alien object Oumuama was a natural body visiting from another solar system

Posted by K R on

Alien object Oumuama was a natural body visiting from another solar system

Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have led worldwide investigations into a mysterious object that passed close to Earth after arriving from deep interstellar space. Since the object was spotted in October, Professor Alan Fitzsimmons and Dr Michele Bannister from the School of Mathematics and Physics at Queen's University have led an international team of astronomers to piece together a profile of the strange visitor, which has been named `Oumuamua. The team was made up of researchers from elsewhere in the UK, the US, Canada, Taiwan and Chile and in total seven researchers from Queen's were involved. Professor Alan Fitzsimmons headed...

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Interstellar asteroid checked for alien technology

Posted by K R on

Interstellar asteroid checked for alien technology

A project searching for intelligent life in the cosmos is going to check the first known interstellar asteroid for signs of alien technology. The odd-shaped object was detected as it sped towards the Sun on 19 October. Its properties suggested it originated around another star, making it the first such body to be spotted in our cosmic neighbourhood. An initiative backed by billionaire Yuri Milner will use a radio telescope to listen for signals from it. The team's efforts will begin on Wednesday, with astronomers observing the asteroid, which is currently speeding away from our Solar System, across four different...

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First Interstellar Asteroid is Like Nothing Seen Before

Posted by K R on

First Interstellar Asteroid is Like Nothing Seen Before

For the first time ever astronomers have studied an asteroid that has entered the Solar System from interstellar space. Observations from ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile and other observatories around the world show that this unique object was traveling through space for millions of years before its chance encounter with our star system. It appears to be a dark, reddish, highly-elongated rocky or high-metal-content object. The new results appear in the journal Nature on 20 November 2017. On 19 October 2017, the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawai`i picked up a faint point of light moving across the sky. It...

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Mysterious object seen speeding past sun could be 'visitor from another star system'

Posted by K R on

Mysterious object seen speeding past sun could be 'visitor from another star system'

If its origins are confirmed, the asteroid or comet, named A/2017 U1, will be the first object known to come from elsewhere in the galaxy, say astronomers A false-colour image of the object, which appears as a faint point of light in the centre. The streaks are stars, caused by the telescope tracking the object. A mysterious object detected hurtling past our sun could be the first space rock traced back to a different solar system, according to astronomers tracking the body. While other objects have previously been mooted as having interstellar origins, experts say the latest find, an object...

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Hubble Just Spotted a Bizarre New Object in Our Solar System

Posted by K R on

Hubble Just Spotted a Bizarre New Object in Our Solar System

Astronomers have identified a weird pair of orbiting asteroids, called 288P, as the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet. Astronomers recently spotted two space rocks behaving strangely. As the asteroids orbited each other, both of them appeared to be shedding material just like a comet does — observations revealed a coma around the objects as well as a long tail of material. The group have identified this weird system, called 288P, as “the first known binary asteroid also classified as a comet.” There are a few select examples of single asteroids shedding water and dust and leaving...

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