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Interstellar Visitor Continues to Behave Strangely

In late 2017, an interstellar asteroid named ‘Oumuamua swept past Earth, looped around the Sun, and departed— the first recorded visit from beyond our solar system (see my “Interstellar Visitor: The Strange Asteroid from a Faraway System, News and Comment, SI, March/April 2018). Its orbit was unique but so was its shape as revealed by its light curve—its variation in brightness as it rotated. ‘Oumuamua was highly elongated, with a length at least five times greater than its width. Because it was so small, perhaps 200 meters long, actual images could not be obtained.

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