A meteor that swept across the skies of Brazil could be the third interstellar visitor ever recorded, researchers said.
Only two objects outside our solar system were previously recorded passing through Earth, one in 2017 and the other in 2019.
Most of the comets and meteorites observed from Earth are local to our solar system, and revolve around the sun.
But a space rock that turned into a fireball over Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil on May 30, may have come from “outside the solar system”, based on its speed and trajectory in the Brazilian Meteor Observation Network (BRAMON), according to a newly published statement.
The Brazilian Meteor Observation Network said in the statement that “a terrestrial meteorite that occurred in Rio Grande do Sul on May 30, may have been caused by an interstellar meteorite, that is, coming from outside the solar system.”
The space rock is considered an “earthsgirl” because of the low angle at which it collided with Earth’s atmosphere, at just 6.1 degrees, as it began to glow 101 miles (162.7 km) south of Cabo Combredo.
According to NASA, the “Shepherds of the Earth” can travel a great distance before it drops low enough to burn up completely.
The BRAMON network initially suggested that the fireball has interstellar origins after analyzing the record from two cameras in Taquara in Rio Grande do Sul and Tangara in Santa Catarina.
The agency also highlighted the space rock’s “great speed”, noting that it was traveling at 143,350 miles (230,700 kilometers) per hour.
It covered 151 miles (243.6 km) in 3.8 seconds, before disappearing east of Carlos Barbosa.
And the agency added: “Very fast meteorites can have a comet origin, coming from the most distant regions of the solar system, or even from outside it.”
“If confirmed, it will be the first interstellar meteorite recorded by BRAMON, which indicates that this phenomenon is extremely rare and deserves further study,” the BRAMON network added.
Source: Daily Mail