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  #1  
Old 10-31-17, 05:08 PM
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Tex Tex is offline
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Default Have we discovered an interstellar asteroid passing close to Earth?

On October 18, 2017, the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) located at the Haleakala Observatory in Hawaii observed an object that passed closely to Earth. While attempting to calculate its trajectory, the real possibility of an interstellar object became a reality.



Initially thought to be an interstellar comet, C/2017 U1 as it was originally named, has an eccentricity of 1.2. That's indicative of a hyperbolic trajectory—meaning its velocity is high enough to escape our Solar System. Its trajectory brought it over the top of our Sun, before heading past the Earth. This unusual trajectory was a clue that we may have just witnessed an object from another solar system within our galaxy. You can see an animation of the trajectory compared to other comets within our Solar System HERE.

After more observations, there was no evidence of a coma associated with comets, so its name has since been changed to A/2017 U1, indicating the first interstellar asteroid to be observed by humans. Its origin is believed to have come from the direction of the Constellation Lyra, according to astronomer Tony Dunn's simulated trajectory. Vega, one of the brighter stars in our night sky, is in the this constellation. It's almost an eerie homage to the movie Contact, which featured our first contact with an extraterrestrial species from the Vega star system. But, I digress...



Traveling at 26 km/s, A/2017 U1 has a very limited time to be observed. Based on its apparent magnitude and trajectory, the size of this interstellar asteroid is estimated to be around 160 meters (525 feet) across, though I'm not entirely sure of this accuracy. Either way, it's certainly large enough to cause a lot of problems for us had its trajectory led to an impact with Earth.

What are your thoughts? Comets and asteroid within our own Solar System can be scary when we think about the potential for impacting Earth. But, what about an object coming at us from interstellar space at such a high velocity? The ability to spot something like that in time seems near impossible.


Sources:
http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K17/K17UI1.html
http://orbitsimulator.com/gravitySim...9_C2017U1.html
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A-2017-U1 Origin.png   A-2017-U1.png  
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Old 11-02-17, 04:39 PM
Reno_Miles Reno_Miles is offline
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As a space enthusiast, I cannot explain how excited I was when I heard this news. The idea always seemed probable, but I never imagined that I'd be alive for such an event. The inclination and velocity of the interstellar asteroid is simply amazing. I wish we had the power avaliable to have prior knowledge of it's trajectory and a way to intercept it with an impact type vehicle and fly through the dust plume. Imagine the foreign star system it originated from, and how many other stars it has swung by. In the lifetime of this rock, this has to be a rare and very exciting event for an otherwise long and boring voyage.
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Old 11-21-17, 05:35 AM
Reno_Miles Reno_Miles is offline
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It was a 400 meter cigar shaped reddish object!
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Old 11-21-17, 02:58 PM
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Woah! This interstellar asteroid gets more and more intriguing!! What’s this remind you of?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Reno_Miles
It was a 400 meter cigar shaped reddish object!
I was just about to post here. I shared this on social media. CRAZY!! The cosmos is full of never ending surprises. I LOVE THIS STUFF!!
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  #5  
Old 02-19-19, 10:52 AM
klimbo klimbo is offline
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I can't clarify how energized I was the point at which I heard this news. The thought dependably appeared to be likely, however I never envisioned that I'd be alive for such an occasion.Lucky Patcher 9Apps VidMate The tendency and speed of the interstellar space rock is basically stunning

Last edited by klimbo; 02-20-19 at 06:51 AM.
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