According to the US military, an interstellar object has indeed crashed into Earth

SPACE – The discovery had gone almost unnoticed in 2014. At the time, however, an object interstellar crashed on our planet. A meteor had been sighted igniting in the skies near Papua New Guinea, likely to end its course in the South Pacific.

Until today, the note on this event remained classified by the United States Government and theAmerican space Order. However, this branch of the Pentagon issued a press release on April 7 confirming this discovery of the first interstellar meteor ever sighted.

This memorandum therefore makes possible the research that is carried out jointly by the researchers Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb, published in 2019, to finally receive peer review and publication. Validation of the veracity of their research was previously crippled by the unprecedented nature of the discovery that certain data had not been passed on by US authorities.

An unidentified object from far away

The discovery of the meteor, which was only a few meters in diameter, follows recent detections of two other interstellar objects on our planet. solar systemknown as Oumuamua in 2017 and Comet Borisov in 2019, which were much larger and did not come into close contact with Earth.

At the time, Oumuamua’s discovery had raised many theories, representing the interstellar object as a alien ship† However, it turned out that the star was nothing less than a fragment of a planet from another solar system.

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

A treasure for science

“I like to think about the fact that we have interstellar material that has been delivered to Earth, and we know where it is,” said Amir Siraj for vice† the latter now wants to try to clear possible debris from the object. “One thing I’m going to look at, and already talk to people about, is if it’s possible to search the ocean floor off Papua New Guinea and see if we can find fragments.”

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

“It would be a big undertaking, but we’re going to look at it very thoroughly because the opportunity to get the first piece of interstellar material is exciting enough to investigate this in depth and talk to all the experts in the world on ocean expeditions to recover meteorites.” ”, explains the researcher

A discovery that asks for others

This interstellar meteor is a sign that the solar system may be flooded with material from other galaxies, and even other galaxies, which could be discovered by future research. Such efforts could provide glimpses of worlds beyond our galaxy, while perhaps even unearthing genuine interstellar treasures on our planet.

“Given the rarity of interstellar meteors, extra-galactic meteors will be even rarer,” said Vice’s Amir Siraj. The latter adds, however, “that in the future we won’t find anything unless we search for it. As scientists, we could build a network as extensive as the network of sensors of the United States Government, and to use it for scientific purposes and to make full use of the atmosphere.”

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