Did an interstellar traveler hit Earth in 2014?

earthsky.org | 4/25/2019 | Paul Scott Anderson
bluelilly (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://en.es-static.us/upl/2019/04/Oumuamua_interstellar_object_illustration_2018-300x188.jpg

Artist’s concept of ‘Oumuamua, the first known interstellar visitor, which was discovered in 2018. Did a similar, but much smaller, object hit the Earth in 2014? Image via K. Meech et al./ESO.

‘Oumuamua – that weird and never-before-seen object from very deep space – made headlines a year ago when it journeyed into our solar system from some unknown origin elsewhere in our galaxy. Whatever it was, a comet, asteroid or even – as at least one scientist dared to suggest – an artificial probe or relic of some kind – it was the first known observation of an interstellar visitor entering our solar system from beyond.

Study - Earth - Visitor - Case - Object

Now, a new study suggests that Earth might have encountered a similar interstellar visitor, although a much smaller one, back in 2014. In this case, however, the object not only ventured into our solar system, it actually hit Earth’s atmosphere and became a fiery meteor in our skies. The peer-reviewed findings were published in Astrophysical Journal Letters on April 15, 2019, by researchers Amir Siraj and Abraham Loeb at Harvard University. Loeb is the astronomer who stated that there was a chance that ‘Oumuamua could be an artificial object – an idea that received much criticism by most other astronomers at the time (although the concept made a heck of a sci-fi story, which Arthur C. Clarke wrote and first published in 1973 as “Rendezvous with Rama“).

Loeb and Siraj found the data regarding the previously unknown object from 2014 while searching the database form the Center for Near Earth Object Studies. They were looking for objects that traveled “faster than normal,” like ‘Oumuamua, an indication that they may have originated from outside the solar system. They searched 30 years of data, and found three possible contenders, but two of those were rejected due to incomplete...
(Excerpt) Read more at: earthsky.org
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