If you haven't already heard, there's a massive cigar-shaped *thing* floating near Earth and no one is quite sure what it is.
The UFO, named ‘Oumuamua by its discoverers, came from a different solar system and is the first known interstellar object to pass through ours. It's up to one-quarter mile (400 meters) long and extremely elongated - possibly even 10 times as long as it is wide.
It was first reported that the object was an asteroid, but now scientists are considering the fact that it could be a spaceship, and no, this isn't a joke. The Express reports that a scientific body, named Breakthrough Listen, led Professor Hawking is trying to figure out whether the object is an alien ship or an unknown natural phenomenon.
In a statement, Breakthrough Listen said: "Researchers working on long-distance space transportation have previously suggested that a cigar or needle shape is the most likely architecture for an interstellar spacecraft, since this would minimise friction and damage from interstellar gas and dust. While a natural origin is more likely, there is currently no consensus on what that origin might have been, and Breakthrough Listen is well positioned to explore the possibility that Oumuamua could be an artefact."
The team are using the world's largest manoeuvrable radio telescope to track the celestial object for ten hours. Last night, they listened for electromagnetic signals which cannot be produced in nature, and if found, it would be the biggest indication ever that alien life could be involved. How exciting.
According to reports, the object's official name is A/2017 UI. It was spotted by the Pan-Starrs project at the University of Hawaii back in October and is currently spinning on its axis every seven hours. It's also travelling at up to 196,000mph. Its high speed suggests that it's not gravitationally bound to the sun but instead is destined to head back out of the solar system.
Keep an ear out for any major announcements. This is bound to be an interesting discovery.