The remains of a small meteor discovered in the ocean are “far beyond what you find in the solar system,” according to astrophysicist Avi Loeb.
Nearly a decade ago, a meteor traveling faster than 95% of nearby stars crashed into the Pacific Ocean. In June, a research group on the interstellar expedition team of the Galileo Project retrieved remnants to begin analysis.
Loeb, the head of the Galileo Project, told “Elizabeth Vargas Reports” that the team is “very confident” the materials found aren’t from our solar system.
“We compared it to what you find on the Earth, moon, Mars, anywhere in the solar system. And nothing like it was seen before,” Loeb said.
“This is the first time that scientists analyzed materials from a large object that came from outside the solar system. … It had material strength that was tougher than all other space rocks recognized by NASA over the past decade,” Loeb added.
Scientists were able to analyze 57 spherules from the meteor-size object’s crash site and 700 spherules were collected overall. Scientists refer to the object as IM1. According to the report, scientists analyzed five millimeter-size marbles that originated as molten droplets from the meteor, formed from the heat from the fireball when IM1 crashed through Earth’s atmosphere.
U.S. government satellites detected the meteor in 2014 when it crashed and tracked the crash site to the South Pacific Ocean. The object was confirmed to have an interstellar origin by the U.S. Space Command to NASA in 2022. Scientists were able to detect this by the rate of speed the fireball was moving, which was faster than 95% of all stars in the vicinity of the Sun, the report said.
An analysis of the object’s material is ongoing, being studied by researchers at Harvard University, UC Berkeley, Bruker Corporation and the University of Technology in Papua New Guinea.