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This phenomenon raises fundamental questions

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to: Tanya Banner

The fireball was spotted, among other things, by the Global Fireball Observatory’s camera at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park in Canada. © University of Alberta

The fireball over Canada turns out to be particularly exciting for research: its origin raises fundamental questions.

Alberta – When a bright fireball was seen in the sky over Alberta, Canada, in February 2021, it caused such a stir as many cameras captured the celestial event. The celestial body that entered the Earth’s atmosphere was and remains of great interest for research. In addition to special door cameras, professional meteorite cameras such as the Global Fireball Observatory (GFO) have recorded the fireball and enabled researchers to study its trajectory in detail.

Scientists from Western University in London, Canada, took the celestial body and discovered something amazing: The object, which ended in a fireball above Earth, appeared to come from the Oort cloud. This is a hypothetical, previously undiscovered accumulation of astronomical objects at the edge of the solar system. The research assumes that this is where home lies Long-period comets like Lovejoy (C/2014 Q2) that sometimes find their way into the solar system.

Fireball over Canada: Researchers have revealed a great mystery

According to the current state of the search, it should only be in the Oort Cloud Comets – celestial bodies made up of ice, dust and debris – Give. According to current theories, orbs made of stone really shouldn’t exist there. According to the researchers, the meteorite that became a fireball over Alberta was apparently rocky: It was a “decimeter-sized” piece of rock weighing about two kilograms, according to the study. in the journal natural astronomy released Will be.

“This discovery supports a completely different model of solar system formation, one that supports the idea that large amounts of rocky material coexist with icy bodies within the Oort Cloud,” Western University meteorite physicist Dennis Vida said in a statement. Message. “This result cannot be explained by the currently preferred models of solar system formation. It is a complete game changer.”

meteorite, meteorite or meteorite – definition of terms:

  • meteor: This refers to the luminous phenomenon that can be seen in the sky when a celestial body enters Earth’s atmosphere – for example a shooting star, but also a fireball.
  • meteor: This is the technical term for a small orb entering Earth’s atmosphere.
  • meteor: This term describes the stone(s) found on Earth after a meteorite has entered Earth’s atmosphere.

A rocky orb of the Oort cloud is a mystery to researchers

According to a statement by the researchers, the fireball penetrated to a height of 46.5 kilometers – and thus much deeper into the Earth’s atmosphere than icy objects with a similar trajectory. In addition, the fireball smashed just like fireballs that split into many stone meteorites.

Researchers from Canada now want to solve the mystery they discovered. “We want to explain how this stony meteorite got so far because we want to understand our origins,” Veda explains. “The better we understand the conditions in which the solar system formed, the better we will understand what it took for life to arise.”

“In 70 years of regular observations of fireballs, this was one of the strangest ever recorded,” says Hadrian Devilpoix, a researcher at Curtin University in Australia and supervisor of the Global Fireball Observatory (GFO). (tab)