The universe is a colossal place. So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that there are some strange things happening in it, especially when you consider that on planet Earth alone there still are many unexplained scientific mysteries.
That’s why there was little cause for alarm when an unidentified object flew past Earth last month. As it loomed eerily close to our planet, astronomers began to investigate the mysterious mass, and they made a shocking discovery.
On October 19, a telescope in Hawaii documented an anomaly spinning through our solar system. Astronomers assumed that the rapidly moving faint light was an asteroid or comet that had originated in our solar system.
However, further analysis determined that it was a foreign object, and it had come from somewhere else.
Based on its orbit, astronomers were able to decipher that the object originated from interstellar space – in layman’s terms, it’s not local. The object, which is being dubbed an “oddball” by astronomers, is the first observed item from outside our solar system.
“What we found was a rapidly rotating object, at least the size of a football field, that changed in brightness quite dramatically,” said lead study author Karen Meech, of the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy, in a statement.
Astronomers had to act quickly in order to research the abnormal object, which flew past at a staggering 85,700 miles per hour. Over the course of three nights, they used multiple telescopes to monitor the rapidly moving mass before it dropped out of sight.