An odd rocky cigar-shaped object called Oumuamua made news late last year when it was determined to be of interstellar origin.
It was touted as the solar system’s first visitor from another star system.
Some scientists first pegged Oumuamua as a comet soon after its discovery.
A few months later studies indicated that it was probably instead an asteroid.
Because of its origins and its odd appearance, the internet buzzed with a rumor/conspiracy theory that the object was actually an alien interstellar space probe, possibly carrying extraterrestrial intelligent life.
After a number of investigations by scientists from around the world, thankfully, the alien spacecraft rumor/conspiracy theory was finally put to rest.
Now, after even more research, a team of astronomers has found that the object is moving faster than predicted, which suggests that Oumuamua is most likely a comet and not an asteroid.
To make their findings the astronomers’ combined and analyzed data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (atop the Cerro Paranal Mountain in Chile) and the Gemini South Telescope and the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, (both on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea).
Oumuamua, which is Hawaiian for scout or messenger, was discovered on October 19, 2017, by astronomer Robert Weryk, who used the Pan-STARRS telescope at the Haleakala Observatory located near the summit of Haleakala on the island of Maui, Hawaii.
A study detailing the astronomer team’s research has been published in the journal, Nature.