'Alien' rock could be first confirmed object from outside our solar system

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

It is less than 400 metres in diameter and is travelling at 25 kilometres per second.

American astronomers have recorded an unusual object that flew into the Solar system from the star VEGA.

It would be the first "interstellar object" to be observed and confirmed by astronomers. Astronomers are now working to point telescopes towards the object to obtain more data.

He said that while everything so far indicated the object was from outside the solar system, more data would be needed to confirm it. Robert Weryk from the the University of Hawaii was the first to identify the object. Weryk then searches the Pan-STARRS image archive and finds it also in the picture taken the night before, but was not originally identified by moving object processing.

Weryk contacts graduate IfA Marco Micheli, who has the same awareness of using his own follow-up pictures taken at the European Space Agency telescope in Tenerife in the Canary Islands. But with the combined data, everything made sense. Its closest approach to the sun came about a month before, on September 9, as the object flew "under" our solar system.

"We have been waiting for this day for decades", said Paul Chodasa, manager of NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) in Pasadena, Calif. "What's most surprising is that we've never seen interstellar objects pass through before", said Karen Meech, an astronomer at UH's Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu specializing in small bodies and their connection to solar system formation.

Based on its current trajectory, the visitor came from the constellation Lyra and approached our solar from "above", perpendicular to the plane that most planets orbit the sun. The sun's gravity caused the object to make a steep turn, and it passed safely under the Earth's orbit on October 14 at about 15 million miles, which is roughly 60 times the distance between Earth and the moon. It is now looping back above the planetary plane and, traveling at 44 kilometers per second, is shooting toward the constellation Pegasus. 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.

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. For months, this interstellar interloper - a fragment of an alien solar system - has been hanging around our cosmic neighborhood.

The object was spotted passing beneath Earth.

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