Discovered Interstellar Space Rock in the Pacific Ocean

Discovered Interstellar Space Rock in the Pacific Ocean

Scientists Discover Metallic Spherules in the Pacific Ocean Linked to an Interstellar Space Rock

Scientists have embarked on an extensive oceanic search for evidence of an interstellar space rock that impacted the Earth in 2014. While conclusive evidence of interstellar origin has not yet been found, a team of international researchers, led by Harvard astrophysicist Abraham “Avi” Loeb, has discovered metallic “spherules” in the Pacific Ocean along the asteroid’s path.

The Discovery and the Galileo Project

In a Medium post, Loeb announced the discovery, which emerged from the work conducted under the “Galileo Project.” This project, spearheaded by Loeb, aims to systematically and scientifically investigate potential extraterrestrial technological signatures.

The Crash of the CNEOS 2014-01-08 Asteroid

The asteroid, known as CNEOS 2014-01-08, crashed near the coast of Papua New Guinea on January 8, 2014, three years prior to the famous interstellar object Oumuamua’s discovery. While many scientific journals initially rejected reports on the asteroid’s interstellar origin, Amira Siraj, a Harvard student advised by Loeb, characterized it as such in 2019.

Controversies and Confirmation of Interstellar Trajectory

The usage of data from a NASA database that did not disclose certain details initially hindered the publication of a report on the asteroid. However, a memo from the US Space Force in 2022 affirmed the data’s accuracy in indicating an interstellar trajectory. NASA, on the other hand, disagreed with Loeb and Siraj’s claims, citing the challenges in definitively determining interstellar origin based on the limited duration of collected data.

Magnetic Spherules: Clues from the Ocean Floor

Researchers identified small metallic “spherules” related to asteroid impacts, with the discovered magnetic spherule measuring 0.3 millimetres. Finding it in the vast ocean was akin to locating a needle in a haystack. Through X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis, the team determined that the spherule primarily comprised iron, with traces of magnesium and titanium but no nickel. Notably, its composition exhibited anomalies compared to human-made alloys, known asteroids, and familiar astrophysical sources.

Future Exploration and Potential Dating Methods

The researchers plan to visit the asteroid’s crash site, aiming to uncover more spherules. With a larger sample, they can perform gamma-ray spectroscopy, enabling the characterization of radioactive elements and potentially providing insights into the sample’s age. The ongoing investigation into the interstellar space rock’s remnants holds promise for unravelling the mysteries of celestial objects and their journey to Earth’s surface.

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