Space, restless as ever, is throwing us another gift just in time for the holidays. Scientists in Hawaii spotted what they believe to be the first interstellar asteroid we’ve ever detected, an object from some other solar system passing through ours.
Oh, and it totally looks like a big ol’ joint.
The gigantic spliff was about the size of a football field. Scientists believe it is dense and metallic, and its dark reddish irradiated color suggests it could be millions of years old and extremely dank. From shape to size, it is unlike anything else floating in our solar system.
The asteroid was named Oumuamua, a Hawaiian portmanteau. “‘Oumuamua” loosely means “a messenger that reaches out from the distant past,” said the Gemini Observatory’s statement, “fitting the nature of the object’s interstellar origin. In Hawaiian ‘ou means “to reach out for,” while mua means “first” and is repeated for emphasis.
If you are hoping to catch what appears to be God’s cosmic doob, don’t bother standing around with a catcher’s mitt. The object has already come and gone. It rocketed at 95,000 kilometers/hour into our solar system, arcing by, just weaving between the Earth and the Sun. The closest it got to us was 24 million kilometers from our planet, and me, the guy who’d like to smoke the space joint. Read the full story here.