A bright meteor that burned over the Canadian province of Alberta a year and a half ago has cast doubt on existing theories about how the solar system formed. Because contrary to what might be assumed given its origin, it was likely made of rock rather than ice, explains a research team led by Dennis Vida of the University of Western Ontario. 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 indeed more rocky bodies than previously thought, this cannot be explained by traditional models of solar system formation.
Don’t burn like a piece of ice
As the research team now explainsOur understanding of the beginnings of the solar system is based on the basic assumption that only objects made of ice are found in the outer regions of the solar system. If it was indeed confirmed that there were large amounts of rocks there, the picture would change completely.
The researchers came to this conclusion based on observations on February 22, 2021. The meteor burned above the Canadian night sky at the time, and was recorded by several cameras. So the way it lit up in the sky indicated that it was a solid object, not a piece of ice. The exact orbit is already reserved for long-period icy comets from the Oort cloud.
Overall, it’s one of the most unusual observations of a fireball in recent decades, says Hadrian Devillebois, who was involved in the analysis. Detailed research work It has been published in the journal Nature Astronomy.
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