The Interstellar Asteroid

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An artist's impression of the interstellar asteroid 'Oumuamua.
An artist's impression of the first interstellar asteroid discovered (image credit: NASA).

There are almost one million asteroids and comets in our solar system. And every single one of them (we think) formed here, within our solar system, alongside the planets just over 4.5 billion years ago. However, in the summer months of 2017, an object not borne from the Solar System made a silent entrance, whipped around the Sun in September 2017, and started heading out again, never to return. This object, now named ‘Oumuamua, was the first asteroid discovered from outside the solar system. This is an incredibly important discovery, helping to confirm our understanding of how we think planetary systems form and evolve.

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The Interstellar Asteroid
NASA
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Profile picture for user Jesse Rogerson
Jesse Rogerson, PhD

As a passionate science communicator, Jesse Rogerson loves promoting science literacy to the public. He frequently represents the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on television and radio, social media, and at conferences. He co-developed a science communication workshop for Canadian science professionals, to instruct them in more effective methods of communicating their science. A trained and practicing astrophysicist, Jesse holds a PhD in observational astrophysics from York University, and recently published a peer-reviewed paper in The Astrophysical Journal. Jesse enjoys riding his motorcycle, board games, and ultimate frisbee.