Stony meteoroid from the Oort cloud casts doubt on models of the formation of the solar system

(ORDO NEWS) — The celestial body that burned up over Canada in 2021 was rocky.

At the same time, it flew from the Oort cloud – from the farthest periphery of the solar system, where, as it is believed, only icy objects are located.

The discovery requires us to correct our understanding of how this cloud was formed and what it consists of.

Canadian scientists have discovered that the celestial body that burned up in the atmosphere over the Canadian province of Alberta was rocky.

Moreover, the meteoroid arrived from the far periphery of the solar system, from the Oort cloud, where, as it is believed, only icy objects are located.

This discovery may change existing ideas about the formation and structure of the solar system. Scientists have already reported on it, speaking before the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

It is believed that far beyond the orbit of Pluto, the solar system is surrounded by a rarefied spherical cloud of ice fragments.

None of them have yet been directly observed, but it is from there that long-period comets fly to us, which, approaching the luminary, begin to evaporate and unfold long sparkling tails.

Modern models that describe the formation and evolution of our system show that only icy bodies of various sizes are found in the Oort cloud.

However, new work by scientists from the University of Western Ontario calls them into question.

On February 22, 2021, a meteoroid burned up in the sky over Canada. His flight was filmed by the cameras of the Global Fireball Observatory (GFO) system, which automatically track about five million square kilometers of the sky, registering such events.

The data was analyzed by astrophysicist Denis Vida and his colleagues. Scientists determined the magnitude and trajectory of the object.

It turned out that he penetrated the atmosphere deep enough before breaking into small fragments and burning up.

This is typical for rocky celestial bodies, but not for brittle ice ones. The authors concluded that the meteoroid reached a mass of about two kilograms and about 10 centimeters in diameter.

Stony meteoroid from the Oort cloud casts doubt on models of the formation of the solar system 2
Another GFO camera shot

The trajectory of the meteoroid showed that it did not come from those areas of the solar system that serve as the usual sources of such celestial bodies, but from the farthest periphery, from the Oort cloud.

It seems that in addition to ice objects, there are also rocky objects. According to Vida and his colleagues, there are not too many of them, and for every million square kilometers of the earth’s atmosphere, an average of one such body weighing 10 grams or more falls annually.

This allows us to calculate that rocky fragments account for about six percent of all objects in the Oort cloud.

Such a picture is not very consistent with existing ideas about the formation of this cloud. The currently dominant hypothesis suggests that its objects are relatively light remnants of a protoplanetary disk.

They formed much closer to the Sun, but under the influence of the gravity of Jupiter and other giant planets, they were thrown into highly elongated orbits, moving away at a distance of two thousand to 200 thousand astronomical units (distances from the Earth to the Sun).

This does not imply the presence of stony bodies in the Oort cloud, especially in a fairly significant amount.

His current models may need to be revised, for example, to include the capture of objects from interstellar space by the attraction of the Sun itself and/or its hypothetical neighbor star.

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