Astronomers discovered the first observed interstellar asteroid in October 2017. Named ‘Oumuamua in November, the asteroid is cigar-shaped with a length of almost one-quarter mile (400 meters). This concept art reveals its unusual, elongated shape, which is very unlike asteroids in our solar system.
‘Oumuamua is thought to be composed of rock and possibly metals, but not water or ice. Astronomers believe it journeyed through the region of space where the star Vega resides, traveling for hundreds of millions of years before reaching our solar system.
The asteroid is moving at about 85,700 miles per hour (38.3 kilometers per second). It’s predicted to pass Jupiter’s orbit in May 2018, and then travel beyond Saturn’s orbit by January 2019. As it leaves our solar system, ‘Oumuamua will be headed toward the Pegasus constellation.