Astronomers using the PanSTARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii spotted for the first time an unusual space object what they believe is a comet that does not orbit the sun. According to the Minor Planet Center further observations are needed to confirm but this space object may be the first clear case of an interstellar comet.
As the astronomers never have seen a comet that did not come from somewhere within the solar system, either the Oort Cloud or the Kuiper Belt they believe, due to the highly eccentric orbit of the object, that it came from beyond the solar system, from the direction of the star Vega, in the constellation Lyra.
The space object named as Comet C.2017 U1 has a diameter of about 160 meters and was moving at an enormous speed of 26 km per second!
The object came within 38,000,000 km of our sun, passing the Earth on October 14, 2017 at a distance of 24,000,000 km, which is about half the distance to Mars, before the Sun’s gravity hurled it back outward.
Then according to the Minor Planet Center, on October 25, 2017 in very deep stacked images taken at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) the object was found to show no presence whatsoever of any cometary nature. The object was renamed A/2017 U1, becoming the first comet to ever be re-designated as an asteroid.
At first it was an interstellar comet, now it is an asteroid, with other words, they don’t know the origin of the object.
You know, everything about this space object which visited our solar system for the first time is strange and we may wonder whether the object, which seems to follow its own path, is not a large icy rock but an interstellar spacecraft piloted by a highly advanced alien race coming from a place near the star Vega, in the constellation Lyra.