Declassified government data confirms that the first known interstellar object reached Earth in 2014 – Teach Me About Science

Declassified government data confirms that the first known interstellar object reached Earth in 2014 – Teach Me About Science
Illustration of a meteor entering the Earth’s atmosphere. (Adastra/Getty Images)

A fireball soared into the sky of Papua New Guinea in 2014, and confidential data prevented scientists from verifying its discovery for 3 years. But it was finally revealed to be a small meteorite, the first interstellar meteorite known so far, According to a recent note Published by the US Space Command (USSC).

It is a fast-moving object from another star system, He writes Brandon Specter for Live Science. A small meteorite with a diameter of barely 0.45 meters crashed into Earth’s atmosphere on January 8, 2014, after traveling through space at a speed of more than 210,000 km/h.

According to a 2019 study of the organism, the average velocity of meteors orbiting the solar system is less than the average velocity of the object in question. For this reason, he cannot be a close visitor. The discovery even predates the controversial and popular ‘Oumuamua’ discovery, making 2014 the first known meteorite and interstellar object to have been discovered in our solar system.

This discovery was detailed in a 2019 study, which guaranteed 99% certainty that the object originated outside our solar system. However, the paper was not reviewed or published in a scientific journal, because some of the data needed to verify its calculations were deemed classified by the United States government, . explains.

“Confirmation supports the discovery of the first interstellar meteorite — and, retrospectively, the first known interstellar object of any type to reach our solar system — which was initially identified by a pair of Harvard researchers in a study published in the arXiv preprint server in 2019”.

Now that these data have been revealed, an official confirmation has been made: “To confirm that a previously discovered interstellar object was indeed an interstellar object, an assertion that has helped the astronomical community at large.”

The meteor would have scattered across Papua New Guinea’s sky like a fireball, and scientists believe it may have sprinkled interstellar debris in the South Pacific. If so, it would be even more exciting, although the chances of finding the remains of this meteorite are slim.

“I get excited just thinking about the fact that we have interstellar matter that has reached Earth, and we know where it is,” Said Amir Siraj, who is director of interstellar object studies at Harvard University’s Galileo Project, based on a call. “One thing I’m going to check – and I’m already talking to people – is if it’s possible to look at the ocean floor off the coast of Papua New Guinea and see if we can get any fragments.”

“It’s going to be a great mission, but we’re going to study it very deeply because the possibility of getting the first piece of interstellar matter is exciting enough to check it out very precisely and talk to all the experts in the world on ocean voyages to recover meteorites,” he said. pointed out.

A 2019 study detailing the interstellar object has been published on a prepress server arXiv.

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