An asteroid that visited us from interstellar space is one of the most elongated cosmic objects known to science.
Discovered on 19 October, the object’s speed and the path taken strongly suggested it originated in a planetary system around another star.
Astronomers have been scrambling to observe the unique space rock, known as ‘Oumuamua, before it fades from view.
Their results so far suggest it is at least 10 times longer than it is wide.
That ratio is more extreme than that of any asteroid or comet ever observed in our Solar System.
Astronomers have also discovered that ‘Oumuamua is dense, comprised of rock and possibly metals, and has no water or ice.
The asteroid’s name, ‘Oumuamua, means “a messenger from afar arriving first” in Hawaiian. It is pronounced oh MOO-uh MOO-uh.