The shape is also quite perplexing - it's about 400 meters long and 40 meters around, which his highly unusual - as is its reddish color, which indicates it has been in space for a very long time. They've dubbed this mysterious interstellar asteroid "Oumuamua". Very few objects in our Solar System have such an extreme light curve.
These properties suggest that 'Oumuamua is dense, composed of rock and possibly metals, has no water or ice, and that its surface was reddened due to the effects of irradiation from cosmic rays over hundreds of millions of years.
It could also mean such interstellar objects may give us information about formation of other solar systems, said Zurbuchen. This cigar-shaped object was captured by the automated telescope which appeared as if it had been dropped on the Solar System from above, an angle that proposes it arrived from somewhere else. 300.000 years ago Vega was in a completely different place suggesting that Oumuamua may well have been wandering the universe for hundreds of millions of years before finally reaching a solar system, and in this case, ours.
Meech and an worldwide research team published their findings Monday in the journal Nature with the title "A brief visit from a red and extremely elongated interstellar asteroid".
"This history-making discovery is opening a new window to study formation of solar systems beyond our own", he added.
The "interstellar visitor", named Oumuamua, is being tracked this week by the NASA Hubble and Spitzer telescopes. Its location is approximately 200 million kilometres from Earth - the distance between Mars and Jupiter - though its outbound path is about 20 degrees above the plane of planets that orbit the Sun.
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Observations from large ground-based telescopes will continue until the object becomes too faint to be detected, sometime after mid-December.
Earlier this month we told you about an alien asteroid found by scientists in Hawaii.
Since its discovery, the object has faded from view.
The asteroid has been moving at an impressive speed of 59,000 miles an hour, per the release, and came from the same direction as Vega, a bright star once featured in the famous sci-fi film Contact.
Scientists now have an idea of what the first recorded extra-solar asteroid looked like. Imminent upgrades to contemporary asteroid survey instruments and improved data processing techniques are likely to produce more interstellar objects in the upcoming years.
The asteroid is now heading towards Jupiter and is predicted to leave our solar system in 2019, continuing its long journey towards the Pegasus constellation.
Our solar system recently had a very odd visitor. It means that we now have telescopes advanced enough to study foreign space objects even though they're usually hard to see.