The first known interstellar meteor hit Earth in 2014, the US confirms

US researchers confirmed on Wednesday that a meteor that hit Earth in 2014 was interstellar

US researchers confirmed on Wednesday that a meteor that struck Earth in 2014 was interstellar (Image: Getty Images)

US researchers confirmed Wednesday that a meteor that struck Earth in January 2014 came from another solar system, making it the first interstellar meteor to ever strike Earth.

The meteor, known as CNEOS 2014-01-08, landed off the coast of Papua New Guinea on January 8, 2014.

In the newly released report, US Space Command officials confirmed that the meteor was an interstellar object — something researchers at Harvard have believed to be true since 2019, when Amir Siraj, an undergraduate student, and his professor Avi Loeb conducted a study on this published topic.

Three years after their findings, Space Force officials reviewed their data and confirmed that their findings were correct.

Space Force Lt. Gen. John Shaw confirmed research conducted at Harvard University this week

Space Force Lt. Gen. John Shaw confirmed research conducted at Harvard University this week

Officials reviewed additional data linked to the Siraj and Loeb findings and “confirmed that the velocity estimate reported to NASA is sufficiently accurate to indicate an interstellar trajectory,” Lt. Gen. John Shaw wrote in the document.

The Space Force confirmed that Siraj and Loeb’s discovery was the first interstellar meteor to hit Earth, not Oumuamua, which was discovered in 2017.

Siraj wrote about his findings in a Scientific American article published Tuesday.

“The CNEOS entry for the 2014 Manus Island fireball indicated that the meteor impacted Earth’s atmosphere at about 45 kilometers per second – very encouraging,” Siraj wrote.

CNEOS 2014-01-08 was the first known interstellar meteor to hit Earth, but we knew beforehand of two others that came after it

CNEOS 2014-01-08 was the first known interstellar meteor to hit Earth, but we knew beforehand of two others that came after (Image: Getty Images)

“However, part of that speed came from the motion of the object relative to the Earth and the motion of the Earth around the Sun. When I dissected these effects using computer programs I had written, I found that the object had overtaken Earth from behind before hitting our atmosphere, and probably had a relative speed to the Sun of closer to 60 kilometers per second had.

Siraj and Loeb ran into trouble trying to publish their research because their data came from a NASA database that didn’t disclose some information, including the accuracy of the readings.

That changed a few weeks ago when they were able to get confirmation of their research from Shaw.

While this meteor, CNEOS 2014-01-08, was the first known interstellar meteor to hit Earth, two others that hit Earth later were discovered first. The interstellar meteor Oumuamua was discovered in 2017 and Borisov was discovered in 2018.

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https://metro.co.uk/2022/04/14/first-known-interstellar-meteor-struck-earth-in-2014-us-confirms-16471342/ The first known interstellar meteor hit Earth in 2014, the US confirms

Justin Scacco

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