NEW YORK, BRONX (ORDO News) — In our vast space, mysterious aliens from interstellar space periodically sweep through the solar system. In recent years, traces of their presence have been seen, for example, ‘Oumuamua in 2017 and Borisov in 2019.
However, the mystery of interstellar meteorites still remains unsolved. New research suggests the answer may lie in the Oort cloud.
The Oort Cloud is a kind of frozen repository of cosmic bodies at the edge of the solar system, where the gravitational pull of the Sun barely keeps icy objects in orbit. When another star passes close to ours, it can upset this balance, pushing cloud particles into the interior of the solar system, where they can become comets with long orbital periods.
Although astronomers have not seen this cloud, it leaves traces of its existence.
Astronomers can distinguish interstellar objects from the “messengers” of the Oort cloud by their orbits. Interstellar objects have a hyperbolic orbit, that is, their trajectory will never close under the influence of the Sun’s gravity and they will fly into interstellar space. Oort cloud objects, on the contrary, remain gravitationally bound to our star, having a closed orbital path.
Despite this difference, some interstellar objects can become temporarily confused with Oort cloud objects, especially after they interact with the gravity of planets such as Jupiter. This makes it difficult to accurately determine the origin of individual objects.
However, research from a team analyzing a meteorite observed in 2022 in Finland indicates that it is likely a member of the Oort cloud rather than a true interstellar object.
By applying the same techniques to several other hyperbolic meteors, the researchers found that most of them likely have more in common with Oort cloud objects than with interstellar objects. This suggests that many hyperbolic meteors do not seem to be messengers from outside, as previously thought.
While interstellar objects may still encounter Earth, it is much less common than first thought. This means that searching for interstellar meteorites remains a complex and difficult task, requiring precise identification methods.
News agencies contributed to this report, edited and published by ORDO News editors.
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