Hat Tip to Peter.
“What we found was a rapidly rotating object, at least the size of a football field, that changed in brightness quite dramatically,” said lead study author Karen Meech, of the University of Hawaii’s Institute of Astronomy and leader of the research team, in a statement.
The long and rocky cigar-shaped object has a burnt dark-reddish hue due to millions of years of radiation from cosmic rays. This hue is similar to that of objects found in the Kuiper Belt, in the outer part of our solar system, but its orbit and shape firmly place it in the category of interstellar origin. It most likely has a high metal content and spins on its own axis every 7.3 hours.
But the shape, 10 times as long as it is wide, has never been seen before. This complex and convoluted shape means the object varies incredibly in brightness.