Our solar system is already filled with mystery, but the recent discovery of an interstellar asteroid proves just how wild space is. Astronomers shared news of the finding on Nov. 20. Although it was first spotted in October, scientists now have an idea of its shape and color. NASA described the asteroid, which is named `Oumuamua, as a "rocky, cigar-shaped object with a reddish hue." The name was chosen by Hawaiian language experts, and it means "messenger sent from the distant past to reach out to us." Based on what we know about `Oumuamua (pronounced "HO-u-mua-mua"), the name seems fitting. The asteroid is the first official interstellar rock spotted in our solar system, and astronomers aren't sure where it came from, but as they say... the truth is out there.
The European Southern Observatory released a statement about the discovery earlier this week and said `Oumuamua has likely been traveling through space for millions of years. It was spotted by their aptly named Very Large Telescope. 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. NASA's official website was down Tuesday morning, but the agency shared an artist's rendering of the asteroid via its official Twitter account.