When the next interstellar object comes, James Webb Space Telescope will be there to study it

The next time a space rock races through our solar system from beyond, humans will be a little more prepared to unlock its secrets.

To date, astronomers have identified two interstellar objects that came from other neighborhoods and rushed through the solar system. In 2017, there was ‘Oumuamua, and in 2018, Borisov followed, giving scientists a tantalizing glimpse at other planetary systems. But these objects appear unpredictably, so astronomers have to scramble to gather as many observations as possible during the brief period they’re close enough to study. Fortunately, NASA’s newly launched James Webb Space Telescope should widen that window.