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Oumuamua: Still a mystery

The interstellar visitor left more questions than answers after cruising through our solar system.
RELATED TOPICS: SOLAR SYSTEM | ASTEROIDS
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No object has ever been more deserving to be on this “Strange Universe” page than one first seen in October 2017. That’s when astronomers using Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS telescope found an unprecedented cigar-shaped rock zooming through our solar system, glowing faintly at only magnitude 20.

Given a Hawaiian name by its Maui-based discoverers, the object is called ‘Oumuamua, meaning either “scout,” or “messenger sent from the distant past.” Finding the first-ever object to arrive from the stars would be reason enough to get excited. But, it turned out, the fun was just beginning.

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