On the 19th October 2017, from the Very Large Telescope in Chile, a 400-metre- long asteroid was spotted in the Milky Way. Its name is ‘Oumuamua, which in Hawaiian means “a messenger from afar arriving first”. This history-making discovery is opening a new window to study formations of solar systems beyond our own.
The asteroid is of a reddish colour, similar to objects in the outer solar system. ‘Oumuama is made from rock and possibly metals. The interesting part of it is that is that it was probably formed around another star just like our solar system. It wandered through the Milky Way for over hundreds of thousands of years.
“For decades, we’ve theorised that such interstellar objects are out there, and now – for the first
time – we have direct evidence they exist,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, the associate administrator for Nasa’s science mission directorate in Washington DC.
Dr Meech, “One of our teammates wondered if, during a planetary system formation, if there was a huge collision between bodies that had molten cores, some materials could get ejected out and then freeze in an elegant shape”.
The discovery of this special object has been essential. Now scientists have an all-new frontier to explore. ‘Oumuamua’s incredible breakthrough helped humanity to confirm the existence of other galaxies and planetary systems similar to ours.