What was this strange ball of fire seen in Canada? Researchers on the trail of the asteroid

What was this strange ball of fire seen in Canada?  Researchers on the trail of the asteroid


What is this object that appeared in a Canadian province on February 22, 2021? About a year and a half ago, a space rock weighing about 2 kg evaporated as it entered the atmosphere. Until then, scientists thought it was a comet since the object came from the Oort cloud, is it explained in an article from the site of Science of October 5, 2022. The Oort cloud is a vast spherical set of bodies which is located between the limit of the Kuiper belt and approximately 150,000 astronomical units (au).

⋙ Largest impact crater in 100,000 years identified in China

Similar discoveries in recent years

But now, thanks to data collected during its fall, experts believe that the object was made of rock rather than ice, and therefore looks more like an asteroid. Other independent observers also claim that this discovery could shed light on the formation of the solar system and on the fact that the Oort cloud would not be composed exclusively of icy comets. “It sheds light on the fact that there is dispersion and deposition of matter from all over the solar system in the Oort cloud”says Karen Meech, a scientist at the Hawaii Institute of Astronomy.

For his part, Bill Bottke, a dynamics specialist in the laboratory Southwest Research Institute, believes that the discovery could support some models that objects from the asteroid belt were scattered in the Oort cloud. Until then, scientists assumed that this cloud had been populated when the gravitational muscle of Jupiter and the other giant planets had dispersed objects made of ice. They had been left behind when the outer solar system formed. These objects have been recognized as comets for years.

But already in 2016, Karen Meech’s teams had discovered one of them whose tail was devoid of ice. It could have been an asteroid, suggesting that the Oort cloud is not that homogeneous.

⋙ The asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs triggered 700 days of darkness on Earth

A fast and shiny object

Since then, hundreds of equivalent objects have been detected, but it has never been demonstrated that they were asteroids. But with this latest discovery, that could change things. “He was brilliant, very fast and left a luminous train behind him in the center of the atmosphere”, describes Denis Vida. By working on images of Global Fireball Observatorya network of high-precision cameras, they calculated the trajectory of the object and found that it came from the Oort cloud.

The object, very fast, penetrated the atmosphere more deeply suggesting that it was made of rock rather than ice. Before breaking up into two phases. By crossing various studies, the researchers established that 1 to 20% of the Oort cloud could be composed of rock. There are still many unanswered questions, but this discovery may bring new information to light on elements that are still enigmatic.

Read also :

A new theory tries to explain the disappearance of the dinosaurs

A new theory tries to explain the disappearance of the dinosaurs

Comet, asteroid or meteorite: what are the differences?

Comet, asteroid or meteorite: what are the differences?

Asteroid responsible for largest crater on Earth was much larger than previously estimated, study finds

Asteroid responsible for largest crater on Earth was much larger than previously estimated, study finds


#strange #ball #fire #Canada #Researchers #trail #asteroid

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *