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Extraordinary: The Revelations, Blaze
Scientists believe that Earth was struck by a meteor from another star system in 2014, which may have left fragments in the Pacific Ocean.
The United States Space Command (USSC) later confirmed the findings of Harvard astronomers Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb in a new announcement. The breakthrough discovery suggests that these space rocks could be a common occurrence.
Back in 2019, Siraj and Loeb pulled together a case and posted it to the scientific preprint server ArXiv. However, the paper was unable to get published in a peer-reviewed journal due to the reliance on data classified by the U.S. government, according to VICE.
They suggested that the meteor, which measured a few feet wide, was extrasolar in origin due to its velocity and trajectory. It follows in the footsteps of two other interstellar objects in our solar system, known as 'Oumuamua and Comet Borisov, which didn't make contact with Earth.
"I get a kick out of just thinking about the fact that we have interstellar material that was delivered to Earth, and we know where it is," Siraj told VICE.
6/ \u201cI had the pleasure of signing a memo with @ussfspoc\u2019s Chief Scientist, Dr. Mozer, to confirm that a previously-detected interstellar object was indeed an interstellar object, a confirmation that assisted the broader astronomical community.\u201dpic.twitter.com/PGlIOnCSrW
— U.S. Space Command (@U.S. Space Command)
Siraj then shared how he would like to host an expedition to see whether scientists could retrieve any fragments from the 2014 meteorite.
"One thing that I'm going to be checking—and I'm already talking to people about—is whether it is possible to search the ocean floor off the coast of Papua New Guinea and see if we can get any fragments," he said, noting that the odds of finding anything was relatively low after the meteor exploded into a fireball and potentially scattered across the ocean.
He added: "It would be a big undertaking, but we're going to look at it in extreme depth because the possibility of getting the first piece of interstellar material is exciting enough to check this very thoroughly and talk to all the world experts on ocean expeditions to recover meteorites."
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