The fireball that shot up in the sky of Papua New Guinea in 2014 was actually a fast-moving object from another star system, according to last note Released by the US Space Command (USSC).
small object meteor Only 1.5 feet (0.45 meters) long Landatmosphere on January 8, 2014, after traveling through space at more than 130,000 miles per hour (210,000 kilometers per hour) — a speed that far exceeds the average speed of meteorites orbiting the solar system, according to a study Conducted 2019 on the published body in a prepress database arXiv.
A 2019 study argued that the meteor’s small velocity, combined with the trajectory of its orbit, established with 99 percent certainty that the object originated far from our own. Solar System – perhaps ‘from the deep interior of a planetary system or a star in the thick disk of Milky Way Galaxy,” the authors wrote.
But despite the near-certainty, the team’s paper was never reviewed or published in a scientific journal, as some of the data needed to verify their accounts was deemed classified by the US government, According to the deputy.
Related: What happens in intergalactic space?
Now, USSC scientists have officially confirmed the team’s findings. In a memo dated March 1 and posted to Twitter on April 6, Lieutenant General John E. Shaw, deputy commander of the US Security Council, wrote that the 2019 fireball analysis was “accurate enough to confirm the interstellar path.”
The note added that this retrospective confirmation makes the 2014 meteorite the first interstellar object to be discovered in our solar system.
Object discovery precedes discovery أوOumuamua The infamous cigar-shaped object is also moving too fast to have originated in our solar system — as much as three years, according to a USSC memo. (Unlike the 2014 meteor, Oumuamua has been detected far from Earth and already speeding outside the solar system, according to NASA.)
Amir Siraj, a theoretical astrophysicist at Harvard and lead author of the 2019 paper, told Vice that he still intends to publish the original study, so the scientific community can pick up where he and his colleagues left off. He added that due to the meteor igniting over the South Pacific, it is possible that the body fragments fell into the water and have since settled to the sea floor.
While finding these pieces of interstellar debris may be a near impossible task, Siraj said he is already consulting with experts about the possibility of an expedition to retrieve them.
“The possibility of acquiring the first piece of interstellar material is exciting enough to thoroughly check it out and talk to all of the world’s experts on ocean voyages to recover meteorites,” Siraj told Vice.
Read more about Meteor 2014 on the website Vice.com.
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