An INTERSTELLAR VISITOR greatly interested in Earth – A/2017 U1 (Oct-2017) 
 A/2017 U1 Wikipedia Credit  Tony Dunn (CCA-SA license)

NASA/JPL animation: Larger view from: NASA / JPL News | October 26, 2017.  Small Asteroid or Comet 'Visits' from Beyond the Solar System.

All astronomy and space centers are at the moment tracking a high velocity object that, after bursting out from outer space, just brushed by our sun and especially Earth. Descending nearly perpendicular to the ecliptic, the object crossed it twice by making a hairpin turn below it – the first interstellar object to have ever been detected, i.e. one that had originated from outside the solar system.
We know by now that it is neither a comet nor an asteroid, and its name as the asteroid A/2017 U1 is temporary (a new category having to be created).
A/2017 U1 (about 1,300 feet/400 meters wide) crossed the ecliptic inside the orbit of Mercury (on Sept. 2) and made its closest approach to the sun on Sept. 9. Then, after the hairpin turn below the planets’ plane, its closest approach to Earth was on Oct. 14 – “coming within 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) of us — about 60 times the Earth-moon distance” says Mike Wall in his article (link below).

I find two facts remarkable.
  • A/2017 U1 came from the direction of the constellation Lyra, at about 57,000 mph (92,000 km/h) relative to the sun, and is now dashing away at 97,200 mph (156,400 km/h) toward the constellation Pegasus. So that it increased its speed by nearly 71%! Yet, this increase doesn’t seem to be due to a gravitational thrust via a planet – as our probes get it. Said Matthew Holman, director of the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge (Ma) “Other hyperbolic objects have been spotted before, but they were nudged onto escape trajectories by gravitational interactions with planets. […] A/2017 U1 has had no such close encounters.” (cited by Mike Wall).
  • If you look at the still photos below (extracted from SecureTeam10 YouTube video commentary—link at the end—showing the original Nasa/JPL video), then you may observe that the object came down very near the sun first (inside Mercury’s orbit), but then that its trajectory took it to literally catch up with Earth’s orbit and move somewhat in alignment with it (albeit much faster and dashing upward).

(Credit Nasa/JPL)

Look at where it first approaches Earth’s orbit (at 4:14 on the Secure Team video copy), and then how it moves along our planet’s orbit to get the closest view of it from above at 4:15 on the video, this time from yet another angle.

o   So that we have: A first shot zooming in from above our system’s sun and core planets, then a large side view while cutting downward through the ecliptic; A view from below Earth while U-turning, then the other side view while crossing the ecliptic moving upward, then from behind the earth, sideways while passing it, then a backward-down look at the opposite side… A full 4-side view of Earth, guys! The probe’s trajectory was a masterpiece!

All this leaves me no doubt that the Interstellar/2017 U1 was sent here to have a closer look at Earth specifically (above & beyond the whole Sol system)—without discounting the possibility that it would thereafter check on other interesting worlds around, or had already done so.

So that I dare conclude that we detected for the first time an interstellar probe!

Now that we know where to look, how far can we track our watcher?

Watch out for la suite!

·    By Chris H. Hardy, Ph.D.:
* Butterfly Logic: Experimental Planet Earth. (Exopolitics Sci-Fi Series.)
* SPACE ALLIES: Earth in the Balance. (Exopolitics Sci-Fi Series.)
* Cosmic DNA at the Origin: A Hyperdimension before the Big Bang.


Extracts from: NASA / JPL News | October 26, 2017

Small Asteroid or Comet 'Visits' from Beyond the Solar System

A/2017 U1 was discovered Oct. 19 by the University of Hawaii's Pan-STARRS 1 telescope on Haleakala, Hawaii, during the course of its nightly search for near-Earth objects for NASA – [by] Rob Weryk, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA)…Weryk immediately realized this was an unusual object. "Its motion could not be explained using either a normal solar system asteroid or comet orbit," he said. […] "This object came from outside our solar system."
"This is the most extreme orbit I have ever seen," said Davide Farnocchia, a scientist at NASA's Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. "It is going extremely fast…”
The CNEOS team plotted the object's current trajectory and even looked into its future. A/2017 U1 came from the direction of the constellation Lyra, cruising through interstellar space at a brisk clip of 15.8 miles (25.5 kilometers) per second.
The object approached our solar system from almost directly "above" the ecliptic, the approximate plane in space where the planets and most asteroids orbit the Sun, so it did not have any close encounters with the eight major planets during its plunge toward the Sun. On Sept. 2, the small body crossed under the ecliptic plane just inside of Mercury's orbit and then made its closest approach to the Sun on Sept. 9. Pulled by the Sun's gravity, the object made a hairpin turn under our solar system, passing under Earth's orbit on Oct. 14 at a distance of about 15 million miles (24 million kilometers) -- about 60 times the distance to the Moon. It has now shot back up above the plane of the planets and, travelling at 27 miles per second (44 kilometers per second) with respect to the Sun, the object is speeding toward the constellation Pegasus.
"We have been waiting for this day for decades," said CNEOS Manager Paul Chodas. "It's long been theorized that such objects exist -- asteroids or comets moving around between the stars and occasionally passing through our solar system -- but this is the first such detection. So far, everything indicates this is likely an interstellar object, but more data would help to confirm it."
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