The US military confirms that an interstellar meteorite hit Earth in 2014.

In this image, an asteroid is in the foreground in the lower left. The two bright spots above at the far left are Earth (right) and the Moon (left). The sun appears on the right.

NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / J.da Silva / Spaceengine

mysterious umuamua rectangle object It is likely to be recorded in the scientific record as the first known interstellar object to be observed in our solar system, but it is now clear that some of the cosmic debris that hit our atmosphere a few years ago also came from very deep space.

In 2019, two Harvard researchers studying Oumuamua penned a new paper that hypothesized that a very fast meteorite that made its way through the atmosphere in 2014 was also interstellar. Records of its tracks and clues to its unusual origin have been hidden in NASA’s pyrotechnic database for years.

The summary reads: “Its rapid speed…indicates a possible origin from the depths of a planetary system or star in the thick disk of the Milky Way.” the paper Written by student Amir Siraj and veteran astronomer Avi Loeb.

However, like SI Recently said viceThe review and publication of the paper was put on hold because the US military had compiled some of the data needed to confirm the scientists’ calculations.

It now appears that the bureaucratic impasse has been overcome.

An unusual call from US Space Command to NASA’s Chief of Science was shared via the USSC Twitter account last week after Deputy Commander Lieutenant General John Shaw announced his attendance at the annual Space Symposium in Colorado.

“Dr. Joel Moser, Chief Scientist, Space Operations Command … see analysis of additional data available to the Department of Defense relating to this discovery,” the memo said. Moser emphasized that the velocity estimate reported by NASA is accurate enough to indicate an interstellar path.”

It is estimated that the meteorite was relatively small, probably about the size of a microwave oven. This means that the vast majority of them burned up in the atmosphere and all the remaining parts fell into the Pacific Ocean.

However, Siraj is exploring the possibility of searching for remaining pieces on the sea floor, which Loeb believes may contain evidence of life from other star systems.

“The reported meteor entered the solar system at a speed of 60 km/s [134,216 mph], “Loeb told me in 2019.” Such a high velocity of ejection can only be created in the inner cores of planetary systems – within the orbit of the Earth around a star like the Sun, but in the habitable zone of dwarf stars, after which these bodies allow the transfer of life from their parent planets. ”


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Q&A with Harvard University’s Avi Loeb about so-called aliens…

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Since then, Loeb has become a controversial figure in scientific circles, claiming that the “simplest explanation” for Oumuamua’s origin is that it was created by extraterrestrial intelligence.

It would be difficult to prove this hypothesis because Oumuamua is currently moving away from us in space. Likewise, the odds of finding a meteor patch on the ocean floor are as good as just waiting for ET to show up in person at Harvard.

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