A strange object shaped exactly like a petrified cannabis joint sailed past Earth last month, according to astronomers at NASA. The scientists, who did not publicly comment on the asteroid’s uncanny resemblance to a massive doobie, named the lump of rock and ice ‘Oumuamua, which is Hawaiian for “a messenger from afar arriving first.” Officially, the object’s scientific designation is 1I/2017 U1, but off-the-clock NASA scientists may or may not refer to the object as “The Iron Doober.”
‘This has been crazy-cool,’ one NASA scientist said of the object that looks very much like a petrified doobie.
“This has been crazy-cool,” NASA astronomer Joseph Masiero told National Geographic News. “For the asteroid community, this is as big as the gravitational-wave announcement.”
A consortium of scientists, writing in the Nov. 20 issue of the journal Nature, noted that “observations indicate that the object has an extreme oblong shape, with a 10:1 axis ratio and a mean radius of 102m, assuming an albedo of 0.04.”
By coincidence, those figures approach the proportions of axis ratio and mean radius to which master joint rollers aspire.
If our calculations are correct, a joint of such magnitude would hold 50 billion liters of bud. That’s enough to fill 14 Superdomes, with enough left over to pack 7,400 shipping containers.
“It’s extraordinarily elongated, which is extremely unusual—we don’t see anything like that in our solar system,” study leader Karen Meech of the University of Hawaii’s Institute for Astronomy, told Michael Greshko of National Geographic News.
Like her colleague Masiero, Meech also declined to address the elephant in the room, which is the fact that there’s a massive asteroid screaming through space that could be some alien life form’s Rapa Nui-style tribute to the common pinner.
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