Traditionally inexplicable: Meteor contained rock from the Oortscher Cloud

Traditionally inexplicable: Meteor contained rock from the Oortscher Cloud

A bright meteor that lit up in the Canadian province of Alberta a year and a half ago has cast doubt on existing theories of how the solar system formed. A research team led by Dennis Vida of the University of Western Ontario suggests that, contrary to what might be assumed given its origin, it was probably made of rock, not ice. The celestial body, weighing about 2 kg, came from the Oort cloud at the edge of the Solar System.

So far, it has only been described theoretically, but all objects observed from there are made of ice. If there are in fact more rock objects than previously thought, this cannot be explained with traditional models of solar system formation.

As the research team now statesOur understanding of the beginning of the Solar System is based on the very basic assumption that only icy objects exist in the outer reaches of the Solar System. Should it indeed be confirmed that there are also significant amounts of rocks, the picture would change completely.

The researchers reached this conclusion based on observations dated February 22, 2021. The meteor burned up in the Canadian night sky at the time, which was recorded by multiple cameras. So the way it burns up in the sky indicates that it was a solid object, not a chunk of ice. The prescribed orbit is actually reserved for icy, long-period comets from the Oort Cloud.

Overall, this is one of the most unusual observations of a fireball in recent decades, says Hadrian Devilpox, who was not involved in the analysis. extensive research work was published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

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