According to the US army, an interstellar object really fell to Earth

SPACE. The opening in 2014 went almost unnoticed. However, at that time, an interstellar object fell on our planet. A meteor has been seen igniting in the sky near Papua New Guinea and is likely to end its journey in the South Pacific.

Until today, the message of this event has remained classified by the US government and US Space Command. However, this branch of the Pentagon issued a press release on April 7 confirming the discovery of the first interstellar meteor ever observed.

Thus, this note allows the study, jointly conducted by researchers Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb, published in 2019, to finally receive peer review and publication. Indeed, validation of their research had previously been paralyzed by the unprecedented discovery that some of the data had not been handed over by US authorities.

Unidentified object from afar

The discovery of a meteor only a few feet wide follows the recent detection of two other interstellar objects in our solar system, known as ‘Oumuamua in 2017 and Comet Borisov in 2019, which were much larger and did not come close. contact with the earth.

At that time, the discovery of ʻOumuamua spawned many theories, presenting an interstellar object as an extraterrestrial vessel. However, it turned out that the star is nothing more than a fragment of a planet from another solar system.

It was after the discovery of ‘Oumuamua that Amir Siraj and co-author Avraham Loeb were inspired to search for potential interstellar fireballs. They then spotted an object that exploded near Manus Island on January 8, 2014 at an unusually high speed of over 130,000 miles per hour. This speed, according to the researchers, is a sign of “a possible origin from the deep interior of the planetary system or a star in the thick disk of the Milky Way galaxy.”

Treasure for Science

“I like to think that we have interstellar material brought to Earth and we know where it is,” said Amir Siraj. the latter now wants to try to extract possible debris from the object. “One thing that I’m going to test and that I’m already talking to people about is if it’s possible to search the ocean floor off Papua New Guinea and see if we can get any fragments.”

However, the chances of finding this interstellar body are slim, as all of the fireball remnants likely landed in small numbers in the disparate region of the South Pacific, making them even more difficult to find.

“This is going to be a big undertaking, but we’re going to look at it very carefully because the possibility of getting the first piece of interstellar material is exciting enough to thoroughly test it and talk to all the world’s ocean expedition experts. recover meteorites,” explains the researcher.

A discovery that requires others

This interstellar meteor is a sign that the solar system may be flooded with material from other star systems and even other galaxies that may be discovered in future studies. Such efforts could provide insight into worlds beyond our Milky Way, and veritable interstellar treasures could even be discovered on our planet.

“Given the rarity of interstellar meteors, extragalactic meteors will be even rarer,” says Amir Siraj for Vice. The latter, however, adds: “In the future, we will not find anything if we do not look. We could, as scientists, build a network as vast as the US government’s sensor network and use it for scientific purposes and take full advantage of the atmosphere.”

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