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News Link • Space Travel and Exploration

Mysterious object from deep space has entered the solar system

•, By Jamie Seidel

This object is in an odd position. It's moving very fast. And it's in what appears to be a somewhat extreme orbit. Extreme enough not to actually be an orbit, in fact.

Observations published by the by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet Center (MPC) suggest it could have come from deep space.

Specifically, it could be a comet that has escaped another star.

"If further observations confirm the unusual nature of this orbit, this object may be the first clear case of an interstellar comet," the MPC declares.

The PanSTARRS telescope spotted the object only after it was flung back out towards the stars by our Sun.

It's not likely to ever return. It flashed past Earth at 24 million kilometres on October 14.

Many eyes watched it closely, keen to determine exactly what it was. Their curiosity was piqued by where it had come from.

Most objects orbiting our Sun do so along a common plane: the planets, dwarf planets and asteroids mostly swing around in roughly the same way.

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