The Atlantic

The Story of the Interstellar Space Rock Isn’t Over Yet

Astronomers have some new information about ‘Oumuamua—and it makes tracing its origins even harder.
Source: NASA

If you’ve been walking around thinking that the mysterious, interstellar space rock that astronomers discovered last year is an asteroid, I have some news for you: It’s probably a comet.

There is, of course, the chance that you haven’t been thinking about this space rock, or know the difference between a comet or an asteroid, or why any of it matters. So let’s return to October 2017, when an astronomer named Rob Weryk was looking at the observations recorded by a telescope perched on top of a volcano in Hawaii.

Weryk’s job, as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, is to sort through the telescope’s nightly observations and identify objects passing near Earth. During one of his data

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