In the early hours of August 30, a Ukrainian amateur astronomer named Gennady Borisov spotted a strange comet zooming through our solar system.
The object, named C/2019 Q4 (Borisov), was moving too fast for it to be captured by the sun's gravity and is most likely an interstellar interloper.
Today, the Minor Planet Centre announced the comet is likely to be only the second known interstellar object to make a pit stop in our corner of the galaxy.
In October 2017, astronomers identified an asteroid-like rock known as Oumuamua, the first known interstellar object to pass through our solar system.
Astronomers say the latest object appears to be a comet given what they have identified as a tail streaking behind the interstellar visitor while it moves through space.
The comet has a "coma", the fuzzy sheath of dust and gas that forms as sunlight heats up a comet's icy surface, meaning scientists will be able to collect much more data on its composition than they could for Oumuamua.
The centre released an official "circular" - a document detailing information on the object's orbit - which highlighted the apparent comet's eccentric pattern.
"Based on the available observations, the orbit solution for this object has converged to the hyperbolic elements shown below, which would indicate an interstellar origin," reads the document.
Estimates on C/2019 Q4 project that the object could remain within our solar system for between six months to a full year.
"We don't know how bright it's going to be. That's always an issue with comets, so you've got that unpredictability, combined with the fact that it is interstellar. And this is the first interstellar comet we've seen," astronomy-software developer Bill Gray, told Forbes.
The mysterious cigar-shaped projectile known as Oumuamua, formally named object 1I/2017 U1, resembles both a comet and an asteroid, however, it doesn't conform to many of the other defining features usually associated with these objects, including its direction of spin and lack of a tail.
When astronomers spotted Oumuamua, they had just three weeks to observe it before it left our solar system.
Professional stargazer Robert Weryk first spotted the interstellar traveller in October, 2017 at the University of Hawaii's Haleakala Observatory.
Researchers had just weeks to collect as much data as possible before the strange visitor travelled beyond the reach of Earth's telescopes.
The object is now out of sight but could take up to 20,000 years before it leaves our solar system onto its next destination.
Interstellar objects like the ones recently discovered are particularly exciting for astronomers since they offer a rare glimpse of what other parts of the galaxy may look like.
Astronomers will now be able to compare their findings on Oumuamua with the most recent specimen.