In 2017, as almost everybody knows already, the ancient comet Oumuamua entered our Solar System. It was the first interstellar object that the astronomers spotted. But scientists are explaining that Oumuamua wasn’t the first – it was just the first we have seen. A team of astronomers at Harvard University revealed that a small interstellar object collided with Earth in 2014.
The scientists think that the asteroid/comet came from another Solar System, from multiple light years, just to burn over the Pacific Ocean. However, those visitors like the unnamed meteor from 2014 and Oumuamua can have something in common, but the scientists haven’t been able to detect them by now.
What Do We Know about Oumuamua?
Oumuamua has traveled through our Solar System during the summer and fall 2017, but it wasn’t spotted since October 2017, when the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS1) observed it. After that, the confirmations about the comet come, and for sure it wasn’t an alien spacecraft, but an extrasolar object flying at a speed of 196,000 mph and an orbital eccentricity of 1.20. Oumuamua has the shape of a cigar and has about 1,300 feet (400 meters) in length.
What About the Interstellar Object from 2014?
The unidentified interstellar object smashed into our atmosphere on January 8, 2014, and was 3 feet (0.9 meters) wide. If the meteor hadn’t given us the chance to burn in our atmosphere, it would have gone unnoticed. The estimated data suggest that the meteorite was traveling with 134,200 mph (216,000 kph) and at high eccentricity that suggests it’s not from our solar system. Moreover, scientists believe that the meteor got a gravitational boost on its journey from a planet or a star and ended up in our solar system.
Unfortunately, the phenomena from 2014 can be studied anymore, but the researchers are hoping that another event can be watched for further study. If an alert system could tell them when meteors are entering the atmosphere that would give them the chance to plan and collect data from the event.
Stacy Richardson is a seasoned journalist with 15 years experience.. She has conducted numerous research studies on media effects including the effects of bullying on adolescents, and “sexy media” effects on sexual behavior. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Stacy covers stories affecting local politics and economy. Contact Stacy here.