A meteor that flashed across Brazil’s skies could be just the third ever interstellar visitor, researchers say.
Only two objects that originated outside our solar system have ever been observed near Earth before, one in 2017 and another in 2019.
Most comets and meteors observed from Earth are located locally in our solar system and orbit the sun.
But a space rock that turned into a fireball over Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul on May 30 may have come from “outside the solar system,” Brazil’s Meteor Watch Network (BRAMON) said in a translated text. statement.
“An Earthgrazer meteor that occurred in Rio Grande do Sul last May 30 may have been generated by an interstellar meteoroid, i.e. from outside the solar system,” the organization said in the statement.
The space rock is considered an Earthgrazer due to the low angle at which it hits the Earth’s atmosphere, at just 6.1 degrees, and begins to glow at an elevation of 101 miles (162.7 km) south of Capão Comprido, RS .
according to NASAGrasshoppers “can travel a considerable distance before they get low enough to burn up completely.”
BRAMON made the preliminary determination that the fireball has an interstellar origin after analyzing the record of two cameras in Taquara, Rio Grande do Sul and Tangará, Santa Catarina.
A space rock that turned into a fireball over Brazil’s Rio Grande do Sul on May 30 may have come from “outside the solar system,” Brazil’s Meteor Watch Network
The agency highlighted the space rock’s “great speed,” noting that it traveled at speeds of (143,350 miles (230,700 km) per hour).
The space rock is considered an Earthgrazer because it hits the Earth’s atmosphere by only 6.1 degrees
BRAMON analyzed the recording from two cameras in Taquara, Rio Grande do Sul and Tangará, Santa Catarina
The agency also highlighted the “great speed” of the space rock, noting that it traveled at speeds of (143,350 miles (230,700 km) per hour.
It covered a distance of 150 miles in 3.8 seconds before disappearing east of Carlos Barbosa, RS.
“Very fast meteors can have comet origins, coming from the farthest reaches of the solar system, or even from beyond,” the agency added.
“If confirmed, it will be the first interstellar meteor recorded by BRAMON, demonstrating that the phenomenon is extremely rare and worth studying more deeply,” BRAMON added.
DailyMail.com has contacted BRAMON and NASA for additional comment on this story.
A piece of an asteroid or comet is also called a meteoroid. Upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere, it turns into a meteor, fireball, or shooting star. The pieces that reach the ground are called meteorites.
Only two interstellar objects have been definitively discovered, ‘Oumuamua and Comet 2I/Borisov.
The first interstellar object, ‘Oumuamua – meaning ‘explorer’ or ‘explorer’ in Hawaiian – was first seen in September 2017.
Many have speculated about its origin or what it is, with scientists recently suggesting that it is a 35-million-year-old hydrogen iceberg from space.
Conversely, Comet 2I/Borisov is a more conventional comet, scientists say.
Comet 2I/Borisov was discovered in August 2019 by amateur astronomer Gennady Borisov.
It survived its close approach to the sun on December 8, 2019, known as perihelion, before continuing on its way.
Our first interstellar visitor sailed past Earth at 97,200 mph in 2017, but what exactly was Oumuamua?
A cigar-shaped object called ‘Oumuamua sailed past Earth at 156,428 km/h in October.
It was first spotted by a telescope in Hawaii on October 19 and was observed 34 different times the following week.
Named for the Hawaiian term for “scout” or “messenger,” it passed over Earth at about 85 times the distance from the moon.
It was the first interstellar object seen in the solar system and it amazed astronomers.
It was initially thought that the object could be a comet.
However, it doesn’t exhibit any of the classic behaviors expected from comets, such as a dusty tail of water ice particles.
The asteroid is up to 400 meters long and very elongated – perhaps 10 times as long as it is wide.
That aspect ratio is greater than that of any asteroid or asteroid seen to date in our solar system.
But the asteroid’s slightly red hue—particularly pale pink—and varying brightness are remarkably similar to objects in our own solar system.
About the size of the pickle skyscraper in London, some astronomers believed it was piloted by aliens because of the enormous distance the object traveled without being destroyed — and the proximity of its journey around Earth.
Alien hunters at SETI — the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence based at Berkeley University, California — said there was a possibility the rock was “an alien artifact.”
But scientists at Queen’s University Belfast took a close look at the object and said it appears to be an asteroid, or “planetesimal” as originally thought.
Researchers believe the cigar-shaped asteroid had a “violent past,” after looking at the light bouncing off its surface.
They don’t know exactly when the violent collision happened, but they think the tumbling asteroid will continue for at least a billion years.