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Oumuamua may not have been Earth's first interstellar visitor



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To Jason Davis

Maybe & # 39; Oumuamua was not the first visitor to another star system after all.

When the mysterious, stadium-sized object passed by our sun in 201

7 before it disappeared, the scientists believed that they were watching a rare event. However, a recent work suggests that in 2014 there was a pum-sized Oumuamua-like object that briefly went up in flames as a meteor over Papua New Guinea.

The newspaper's authors, Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb and Harvard student Amir Siraj, collected data from a worldwide network of US government sensors scanning the sky for rockets, instead searching for meteors move fast enough to come from outside our solar system. They found a knife-sized object that rammed into the earth at a speed of 60 km / s, and the pursuit of its path concluded that it came from interstellar space.

It is assumed that the object was resolved prior to reaching the ground, but its existence raises the possibility that firsthand interstellar objects can be examined. Loeb said the government system could be modified to warn scientists when a fast-moving meteor is discovered, so they can search for fragments that have survived all the way to the ground.

"It's a new way to search interstellar objects". said Loeb, who raised his eyebrows in 2018 when he said that Oumuamua could be an alien spaceship. "It saves you travel, you do not have to go to another planetary system, you get material objects that you may be able to examine."

If the discovery of the meteor is confirmed, it means that our solar system was visited by two interstellar objects in a span of only three years. Loeb said it must mean that there should be at least a million more objects that we never see whizzing through the inner solar system and that an interstellar meteor hits Earth every 10 years.

Life on Earth

Astronomers have long hypothesized that asteroids or comets could have transported the organic molecules that became the building blocks of life to the ancient earth. But there is no rule that says they had to come from our own solar system.


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