MRO has released some early pictures, although images from both spacecraft are still being processed. On 28 November, which is the US Thanksgiving holiday, Knight and others will not be celebrating with their families. Downs, C. Science , — Knight, M. Samarasinha, N. Alex covers Earth and planetary sciences, with a little dabbling in astronomy. She studied geology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and science communication at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Among other places she has worked as a journalist for Science News and the Dallas Mor…. Read more. Jules Verne.
‘Oumuamua, the mysterious visitor from outside the solar system, is a comet after all
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Sometimes, passing by a larger object can jostle small cosmic travelers, but no planetary nudge can explain this kind of orbit, he says. Williams is the associate director at the Minor Planet Center, the international organization in charge of confirming discoveries of new objects in the solar system—or, in this case, the stuff just passing through.
Astronomers are still getting to know this new visitor from beyond. The thing was unusual enough, in fact, that a project to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, funded by a Russian billionaire, had a radio telescope check it for artificial signals.
Off on a Comet
A comet has a tell: When it gets close enough to the sun, some of its ice melts, producing a shimmery tail of gas and dust known as a coma. Astronomers have long suspected that celestial bodies from other solar systems pass through our own all the time. Icy objects are the most susceptible to being kicked out of their solar systems and thrust on a journey through interstellar space. The universe can be a turbulent place, especially around a young star, just ignited into existence.