'Oumuamua: A Mysterious Interstellar Interloper

Tue 7 Jul 2020

Online Attendance Only


6:30 PM - 8:00 PM

Contact Information:

Have questions? Please contact Tracy Lamb.

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Speaker: Amaya Moro-Martin (Space Telescope Science Institute)

During the formation of our solar system, a tremendous number of asteroids, comets, and planetesimals were ejected into interstellar space by gravitational encounters. If extrasolar planetary systems, which are now known to be quite common, experienced a similar development, then our galaxy should be teeming with these expelled objects. And yet astronomers had never found one, leaving them puzzled and curious.

Then in 2017, the discovery of ‘Oumuamua transformed the situation from puzzlement to bewilderment. Observations with a wide range of telescopes followed the brightness and trajectory of this first interstellar interloper, but left important questions about its origin and composition unanswered. 

Dr. Amaya Moro-Martin of the Space Telescope Science Institute will present “‘Oumuamua: A Mysterious Interstellar Interloper” on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 6:30 p.m. EDT, to present the questions ‘Oumuamua’s visit left behind, including wondering what process was responsible for the non-gravitational acceleration found in its unbound orbit. ‘Oumuamua will not return to provide explanations, and the inquiries it left behind will remain as we seek out and study other guests from beyond our solar system.

Recorded live on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.


The STScI Public Lecture Series offers talks on a diverse selection of cosmic topics, typically held the first Tuesday of every month. The 2020 Public Lecture Series is implementing an online-only format. This lecture will be presented with a livestream to YouTube, and questions can be asked in the YouTube chat. As usual, the recording will also be posted on our YouTube channel. We will, as necessary, adjust from the traditional first Tuesday at 8 PM schedule to accommodate our speakers. 

Live and archived recordings: