New Delhi: The US Space Command (USSC) last week confirmed that a meteor that had hit Earth in 2014 came from another solar system and is, therefore, declared as the interstellar object.
The USSC in a Twitter post revealed its findings along with a memo confirming the work of Harvard astronomers Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb. The memo confirms that a space rock from another star system did strike Earth in 2014.
The US space department stated that the velocity and trajectory of the 1.5 feet long meteor suggested the space rock was extrasolar in origins. Earlier, NASA had stated that the meteor lit up skies near Manus Island, Papua New Guinea on 8 January 2014 whilst travelling at more than 1,00,000 miles per hour.
6/ “I had the pleasure of signing a memo with @ussfspoc’s 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.” pic.twitter.com/PGlIOnCSrW
— U.S. Space Command (@US_SpaceCom) April 7, 2022
“I had the pleasure of signing a memo with @ussfspoc ’s 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,” said Lt Gen John Shaw, the deputy commander of the USSC.
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The research paper written by Dr Siraj and Dr Loeb reported the meteor as originating from interstellar space with “99.999 per cent confidence”. The researchers also calculated that the Earth is struck by an extrasolar meteor around once a decade and, hence, more than 450 million such meteors striking our planet over its lifespan so far.
“Potentially, interstellar meteors could deliver life from another planetary system and mediate panspermia,” their paper read as per Independent.
Additionally, Dr Loeb in the paper also argued that the Oumuamua could have been a form of Alien technology, rather than an extrasolar asteroid, but, for now, this is a minority position among the astronomy community.