New, then Gone: Asteroid 1I/`Oumuamua

Last November, we found something so new that we had to invent a new way to describe it: presenting Asteroid 1I/`Oumuamua.

The letter I stands for Interstellar, and the number 1 means it’s the first of its kind ever seen. `Oumuamua (pronounced “oh-MOO-uh-moo-uh“) means “advance scout” in Hawaiian.

Here is the fascinating story of its discovery, told by some of the people who found it:

And now it’s gone, headed back from whence it came after a quick half-spin around the Sun. 1I/`Oumuamua at a mind-blowing 26 kilometers per second (58,000 miles per hour). It has already gone so far that it is invisible to all but the largest telescopes.

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