In 2017 astronomers observed the early signs which announced the first known interstellar object in our system, called Oumuamua. The object sparked a lot of controversy in 2018 as many researchers attempted to unravel its elusive nature before it left our solar system.
A new study elaborated by a team of researchers from Harvard University claims that the atmosphere of our planet faced a significant impact five years ago, but the event occurred without being detected at that time, and it is thought that an interstellar object may have been the culprit.
While Oumuamua follows a lengthy 20,000-year trajectory, the enigmatic meteor found its end as the object burned in the atmosphere. Unlike Oumuamua the meteor was considerably smaller, which may be why it wasn’t picked up by the surveillance equipment. A new approach was needed, and the scientists opted to look for interstellar objects which are closer to Earth.
Earth was impacted by an interstellar object in 2014, about five years ago
One of the researchers decided to check a catalog of meteor impacts provided by the Centre for NEO (near-Earth-objects) Studies. As he was looking at the data he discovered something quite remarkable: in 2014 a giant fireball appeared to rush toward Earth as it was traveling at an impressive speed of 60 kilometers per second and passed by the sun.
Thankfully, the object measured almost a meter across, which is quite good since an explosion of a larger one could have led to severe damage on the surface.
When the researchers attempted to calculate the orbital trajectory of the object they reached a surprising conclusion: the meteor wasn’t affected by the gravitational pull of the sun, which means that it came from an area beyond the limits of our solar system. The paper was well-received by the scientific community, and it sparked the interest of other astronomers. However, further research is needed before a definite answer can be provided. The study was published in a scientific journal.
Erin VanDyke lives on her family farm and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control. On their farm, Jan and her family use corgis as herding dogs and have raised Shetland sheep, Fainting goats, Morgan and Trakehner horses, and historic breeds of chickens and turkeys. Erin is also an active beekeeper.