When the interstellar object Oumuamua was discovered in 2017, it sent shock waves throughout astronomy. Oumuamua's strange cigar form and its origins in another solar system were unlike anything ever seen, prompting Professor Abraham Loeb of Harvard University to theorize that the interstellar object could be an alien probe. And Professor Loeb returned to the headlines after an incredible discovery – an extra-solar asteroid struck Earth in 2014.
Loeb and his undergraduate assistant, Amir Siraj, believe that space rocks that travel faster than expected may be enough evidence of an extra-solar visitor.
If the theory of astrophysicists on this extra-solar asteroid is correct, it will be the first known occurrence of an object of another star system impacting our planet.
Even more incredible, Harvard space scientists believe there is a chance that this object has evidence of alien life along with it.
Professor Loeb's team has searched the database of the Near Object Study Center for asteroids traveling faster than normal.
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The researchers found three hits, two of which were discarded because of incomplete data.
The third described an asteroid calculated to be just under one meter wide that had been observed disintegrating in the atmosphere on January 8, 2014, at a height of 11 miles (18 km) over Papua New Guinea.
The speed of the asteroid was measured at 135,000 mph (216,000 km / h).
Looking at his trajectory and tracing back, Professor Loeb calculated that the asteroid probably came from somewhere outside our solar system.
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This would make the observation the first known occurrence of an extrasolar object struck on Earth.
Researchers report that the object's high speed indicates that it has probably been released from another star system.
And if that were the case, he would have been reasonably close to his star at some point, deep inside a planetary system – potentially in his "Goldilocks Zone," meaning there is a chance to lead life.
The researchers wrote an article describing their findings, which they subjected to The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
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And although this theory is scientific, if fragments of this extrasolar object containing evidence of alien life were discovered, it would be a discovery of unimaginable importance.
For this reason, it is worth speculating about.
And even if it contained no evidence of life, retrieving an interstellar object would be quite extraordinary.
There are many "ses" about this object, not to mention the extremely low chances of finding fragments of it that survived the complete disintegration in our atmosphere.
The discovery, however, opens our eyes to the possibility of finding other similar objects that may have hit the Earth at some point in the past, or that may occur in the future.