In October 2017, an astronomer working in Hawaii discovered a bizarre, cigar-shaped object hurtling through our Solar System. It was the first interstellar object detected passing through our celestial neighbourhood, and imaginations were immediately sent into overdrive. Could it be an asteroid? A comet? Or even an alien spaceship, sent here on a scouting mission from a distant planet?
The strange entity, named ‘Oumuamua, still has astronomers scratching their heads. But it’s not our Universe’s only mystery. From invisible galaxies to gigantic rectangles, the cosmos is awash with puzzling objects. In this week’s Science Focus Podcast, astronomy writer Colin Stuart speaks to our staff writer James Lloyd, about his top five mysterious objects.
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Listen to more Science Focus Podcast episodes:
- There is no Plan B for planet Earth – Lord Martin Rees
- What NASA’s InSight will tell us about Mars – Bruce Banerdt
- What asteroids can tell us about our Solar System – Natalie Starkey
- Is there anybody out there? – Mike Garrett
- Belka and Strelka: Russia’s canine cosmonauts – Vix Southgate
- How to keep yourself busy in space – Chris Hadfield