A meteorite that entered our atmosphere in 2014 and crashed into the Pacific Ocean off Papua New Guinea is the first known stellar object to reach Earth. This is stated in a new article by Vice Which refers to a memo issued by the US Space Command (USSC), the Pentagon’s “space” affairs branch.
The first interstellar object to reach Earth
If the discovery is confirmed, it will be the first known interstellar object to reach the Solar System and cross the Earth’s atmosphere.
The study, which has seen a somewhat turbulent trajectory, was so far only published in pre-print on arXiv in 2019 and written by Harvard astrophysics student Amir Siraj, with the help of his mentor Avi Loeb, a theoretical physicist, astrophysicist and cosmologist. An Israeli-American, in addition to a professor at the same university.
In fact, Siraj explains that the same study has been waiting for review for years and that the reasons are due to the somewhat peculiar circumstances that characterize the way this event was discovered. In fact, the definition and characteristics of the object were classified as classified information by the US government itself, and therefore inaccessible even to Siraj and Loeb. Some of the techniques used in observing the sky for “fireballs”, caused by meteors and asteroids entering our atmosphere, are, in fact, the same as those used by the government and military apparatus of the United States to detect explosions in the sky, such as nuclear ones.
This made it very difficult for the researchers to use all the event data in the database.
It all started when Siraj and Loeb began searching for interstellar ‘fireball’ events after discovering ‘Oumuamua’, a large cigar-shaped object, several hundred kilometers long. Oumuamua was the first interstellar object ever identified, a determination that only occurred in 2017. Its origin outside the solar system is strongly supported by various data and its own orbit.
Among other things, Loeb himself suggested that the hypothesis regarding the synthetic nature of the organism, in the light of the information we have today, cannot be completely excluded. Due to some of its strange properties, Oumuamua could be an alien spacecraft that has entered our solar system, according to the researcher.
Super exciting fireball recorded on Jan 8th 2014
Among the hundreds of impacts recorded in the database maintained by the NASA Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), the researchers found a very interesting impact that occurred on January 8, 2014. The event is related to the intrusion of the Earth’s atmosphere. A body at a very high speed, more than 200,000 km per hour.
The researchers concluded that this speed can only be explained by a possible origin within a planetary system or in the region of a star located in the disk of the Milky Way.
In essence, according to the researchers, it will be an interstellar meteorite and the most incredible thing, as Siraj himself explains, lies in the fact that it “was hiding in plain sight.” Perhaps no one has searched for interstellar objects in the various databases related to fireballs, asteroid impacts and meteorites from outside our solar system, since the first definition of “Oumuamua” mentioned above occurred only in 2017. After Oumuamua’s interest in interstellar objects found in Our solar system has “exploded” among astronomers, but one discovery that affected even our planet raises the level of exception to an even higher level.
Found fragments at sea? Difficult but not impossible
The real confirmation can come from the analysis of meteorite fragments that may have been scattered in a large area of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Finding them at the bottom of the sea is a very difficult task, but Siraj himself wants to study this possibility “in a very comprehensive way”, even speaking with world experts on ocean voyages. The possibility of finding an object from outside the solar system and being able to analyze it in the laboratory, albeit small, is too exciting to rule out in advance.
Notes and insights
- Scientists have confirmed that secret government information confirms the first interstellar object on Earth
- Tweet US Space Command
- [1904.07224] The discovery of a meteorite of interstellar origin
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