Thursday, September 29, 2022

Unclassified government data reveals an interstellar object that exploded in the sky in 2014

A fireball blazing from the sky over Papua New Guinea in 2014 was actually a fast-moving object from another star system, according to a recent memorandum Issued by US Space Command (USSC).

The object, a small meteorite measuring just 1.5 feet (0.45 m), slammed into Earth’s atmosphere on January 8, 2014, after traveling through space at more than 130,000 mph (210,000 km/h). Meteors orbiting within the Solar System, according to a 2019 study of the object published in the preprint database arXiv, a speed that is far higher than the average velocity.

That 2019 study argued that the motion of the Wee meteor, along with the trajectory of its orbit, proved with 99 percent certainty that the object originated far beyond our solar system—possibly “from the deep interior of a planetary system or From a star in the thick “disk of the Milky Way galaxy,” the authors wrote.

But despite their almost certainty, the team’s paper was never reviewed or published in a scientific journal because, according to Vice, some of the data needed to verify their calculations was deemed classified by the US government.

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Now, USSC scientists have officially confirmed the team’s findings. In a memo on March 1 and shared on Twitter on April 6, USSC deputy commander Lieutenant General John E. Shaw wrote that the 2019 analysis of the fireball was “sufficiently accurate to confirm an interstellar trajectory.”

This confirmation retrospectively makes the 2014 meteor the first interstellar object detected in our solar system, the memo added.

According to a USSC memo, the detection of the object predates the discovery of ‘Oumuamua — a now-infamous, cigar-shaped object that is moving too fast to originate in our Solar System — by three years. (Unlike the 2014 meteor, ‘Oumuamua was detected far from Earth and is already exiting the solar system, according to NASA.)

Amir Siraj, a Harvard University theoretical astrophysicist and lead author of the 2019 paper, told Vice he still intends to publish the original study so the scientific community can pick up where he and his colleagues left off. He said that since the meteorite ignited over the South Pacific Ocean, it is possible that fragments of the object landed in the water and have since settled on the ocean floor.

While locating these scraps of interstellar debris can be an impossible task, Siraj said he is already consulting with experts to launch an operation to recover them.

“The prospect of getting the first piece of interstellar material is exciting enough to talk to all the world experts on ocean missions to thoroughly investigate and recover meteorites,” Siraj told Vice.

Read more about the 2014 meteor at Vice.com.

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This article was originally published by Live Science. Read the original article here.

Nation World News Desk
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