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This Mysterious Asteroid Is Being Checked for Signs of Alien Life

Its cigar-like shape has never been seen before in an asteroid

People are wondering if a newly discovered, weirdly oblong asteroid being called Oumuamua is just a space rock or really an alien spacecraft, NBC News Mach reported.

The interstellar object was spotted about a month ago by a collection of telescopes in Hawai'i after it had already sped by Earth. Now it's halfway to Jupiter.

Oumuamua is different from the average asteroid. Its trajectory is hyperbolic rather than elliptical, its cigar-like shape has never been seen before in an asteroid and we've never seen an object passing from another stellar realm.

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It's an extremely long shot that Oumuamua is a spaceship, but the SETI Institute has spent 60 hours scanning it for transmissions, and will soon devote another antenna to the task.

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