This article is from the January 2023 issue of Science et Avenir – La Recherche N°911.
A mysterious object crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 2014, 200 kilometers off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Called CNEOS-2014-01-08, it is only 45 cm wide and would have followed a high-velocity trajectory and hit Earth at a very high speed of 216,000 km/h; Evidence of its interstellar origin, according to two American researchers The Astrophysical Journal.
Data from spy satellites
It will be the first extrasolar object discovered to date, ahead of Omuamu’a (2017) and Comet Borisov (2019). The problem: Some of the data identifying this asteroid comes from US Department of Defense spy satellites and is therefore classified, pushing the scientific community to be wary of this hypothesis from Avi Loeb, a controversial researcher who supports Oumuamua as a ship. Astronomers, however, want to launch a mission by the end of 2023 to look for fragments of this material.