Earth Was Hit By An Interstellar Object With Distant, Mysterious Origins Five Years Ago, Scientists Claim

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Back in 2017, astronomers discovered the very first known interstellar object in the Solar System. It was ‘Oumuamua – a mysterious cigar-shaped celestial body that was identified as the first visitor from outer space.

Science Alert notes that just because this was the first detected interstellar object, it doesn’t mean that it was the first ever.

It seems that just five years ago, the Earth’s atmosphere has been hit by something that may have originated far outside the Solar System and we never even knew it.

In a new paper, Harvard researchers said that a meteor that has collided with Earth’s atmosphere back in January 2014 was actually another interstellar object with distant, mysterious origins.

The online publication notes that this meteor’s long journey seems to have been just a one-way ticket.

The meteor’s journey ended with a violent finale five years ago, because the object burnt up in the skies above Papua New Guinea.

‘Oumuamuas is a really large object and it was detected far from Earth, and the team behind this new meteor theory said that this was a much smaller interstellar object.

The meteor was quite small, and it did not trigger massive damage 

“Instead of looking far out into space, and given the fact that there should be a higher abundance of interstellar objects smaller than ‘Oumuamua, we thought, ‘Why not look locally and find these smaller interstellar objects as they collide with the Earth’s atmosphere?'” first author, astronomer Amir Siraj told the online magazine Newsweek .

It is believed that the object was a 2014 fireball that rushed Earthwards at a velocity of around 60 kilometers per second (37 mps) as it passed the Sun.

Another important thing worth mentioning is the fact that we should be thankful that this object was quite small – less than a meter across in total.

The thing is if it were much larger, it could have made an apocalyptic impact with Earth’s surface.


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