5-speed listening (Space Objects - Level 5)

Mysterious space object could be monitoring us






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Astronomers from a program called Breakthrough Listen believe that aliens could be listening to us on Earth. Breakthrough Listen searches for evidence of alien life beyond Earth. The scientists are excited about a giant, mysterious space object that has just passed Earth. The object is an 800-meter-long, 80-meter-wide, cigar-shaped rock. Scientists believe the rock has too many straight lines on it for it to come from nature. This suggests it could have been made by extra-terrestrial life. The scientists called the rock Oumuamua, which means 'messenger' in the Hawaiian language.

The astronomers first spotted Oumuamua as it travelled at great speed through our solar system. It passed Earth at about 85 times the distance to the Moon. This is very near, relative to how big the universe is. Oumuamua is the first object spotted in our solar system that appears to come from another galaxy. Its high speed of 300,000 kph suggests it is outside the gravitational pull of the Sun. It is travelling on its own path. The scientists said it was unlikely that Oumuamua was proof that aliens exist. The huge rock and its journey is a unique event that could offer new secrets.

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Space Objects - Level 4  |  Space Objects - Level 6

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