Congressman Adam Schiff’s California district includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He is as enthusiastic a fan of the final frontier as you are likely to find under the capitol dome in Washington D.C. Planetary Society Digital Editor Jason Davis has just returned from the famed Mirror Lab at the University of Arizona. He witnessed the creation of a mirror that will soon become part of the Giant Magellan Telescope. Bruce Betts is all over the first, confirmed interstellar object to enter our solar system. He tells us about it in this week’s What’s Up.
What is the orbital eccentricity of the just-named and discovered interstellar asteroid 1I/'Oumuamua? (Wikipedia: The orbital eccentricity of an astronomical object is a parameter that determines the amount by which its orbit around another body deviates from a perfect circle. A value of 0 is a circular orbit, values between 0 and 1 form an elliptical orbit, 1 is a parabolic escape orbit, and greater than 1 is a hyperbola.)