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Our interstellar visitor likely came from 2-star system

March 19, 2018

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Our interstellar visitor last fall likely came from a two-star system.

That’s the latest from astronomers who were amazed by the mysterious cigar-shaped object, detected as it passed through our inner solar system.

University of Toronto’s Alan Jackson reported Monday that the asteroid — the first confirmed object in our solar system originating elsewhere — is probably from a binary star system. That’s where two stars orbit a common center. According to Jackson and his team, the asteroid was likely ejected from its system as planets formed.

Discovered by a Hawaiian observatory in October, the asteroid is called Oumuamua (OH’-moo-ah-moo-ah). That’s Hawaiian for messenger from afar arriving first, or scout. The rock is about 650 feet (200 meters) long.

The findings appear in the Royal Astronomical Society’s journal, Monthly Notices.

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