Alien Space Rock Hit Earth: A meteorite that did not fly past but struck Earth back in January 2014 was a foreign object and not from our solar system. Unlike most other space rocks that flyby, this was an interstellar visitor which had come from another solar system.
The timing of 2014 also makes it the first such alien space rock to visit Earth. Till now, the 2017 discovery of Oumuamua was confirmed to be the first interstellar object to visit the solar system. This rock was just 1.5 feet across in size and as per a newly-released US Space Command memo, it ‘was indeed an interstellar object’.
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
The meteorite travelled through space at over 1,30,000 miles per hour or 2,10,000 kilometres per hour. It sparkled the sky about Papua New Guinea when it entered Earth back in January 2014. There is a possibility that space debris from the meteorite may be in the South Pacific Ocean. If found, it might help scientists find out more about its origin.
A review of the data available confirmed that “the velocity estimate reported to NASA is sufficiently accurate to indicate an interstellar trajectory.”
The meteor’s existence was recognized back in 2019 by a group of researchers from Harvard University, who suggested that it was an interstellar visitor. The study, while not peer-reviewed till now, claims that the space rock was interstellar with ‘99.999 per cent confidence’.