An Earth-grazing meteorite took a long way to travel.
A tiny space rock that struck Earth’s atmosphere and ejected as a spectacular fireball over Brazil may have gone beyond our solar system to make a bright display.
Brazil’s Meteor Watch Network (Braman) captured the so-called Earth-grazer meteor in the southern part of the country on Sunday evening. Two cameras in the network captured the burning meteorite making its way across the night sky in a spectacular streak.
The fireball is thought to be grazing Earth because it struck our atmosphere at a very shallow angle. A statement by Braemann suggests that the meteor may have an interstellar origin. “Preliminary analysis indicates that it was generated by a meteorite coming from outside the Solar System,” it said.
The science surrounding interstellar objects visiting our solar system is nascent and controversial.
The first cosmic body identified as coming out of our Sun’s sphere of influence was dubbed ‘Oumuamua. The strangely shaped object has been the subject of debate since its discovery, with Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb repeating over and over again the disputed idea that it may be some kind of.
Loeb and others also haveTo suggest some of the objects that made it to Earth have probably taken over other star systems at some point.
Chasing down interstellar objects like Oumuamua may one day provide new insights into the nature of the universe, but collecting the interstellar meteorites that made it to land may be an easier way to go about it.
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