Astronomers are planning a fishing trip to land a meteorite from another star system that crashed into the Pacific Ocean with about 120 tons of energy.
A team from Harvard University is trying to find fragments of a rock that crashed into Earth in January of last year.
The first contact humanity has ever had with material larger than dust from beyond the solar system would be the result of finding a fragment.
There are impact craters on Earth.
It was confirmed to Siraj by the U.S. Space Command in May 2022. There are no witnesses to the event.
In the middle of the night, it struck the atmosphere about a hundred miles off the coast of the country of Australia.
The smallest object ever found in our solar system is 1.5 feet wide.
An object called 'Oumuamua' used to hold that title. The space rock was discovered during the Pan-STARRS sky survey and later it was claimed that it was an alien machine. The first comet to be found in the universe was spotted by an amateur astronomer.
It was travelling at a rate of 60 kilometers per second relative to the sun. It's too fast for the sun's gravity to hold it together.
At the Earth's distance from the sun, any object traveling faster than about 42 kilometers per second is on a hyperbolic escape trajectory. It must have originated from outside of the solar system due to the fact that it didn't cross paths with any other planets along the way.
The Galileo Project aims to lower a magnet similar in size to a king-size bed at 1.3 degrees south, 148.6 degrees east, the U.S. Department of Defense's location. In the southwest Pacific Ocean, that's about 186 miles north of the island.
There is a chance that the first known interstellar meteorite hit Earth in 2004.
The material strength of a typical iron meteorite should make it easy to recover. Something can be strong if it can resist being damaged by a load. He said that most meteorites have enough iron in them to stick to the type of magnet they will be used for. It's very likely that the fragments of CNEOS are ferromagnetic.
The Galileo Project's ship would use a magnetic sled on a longline winch to tow it along the sea floor for 10 days. The hope is that the magnet will be able to recover tiny fragments of the meteorite.
It is not clear when the astronomer will be able to mount their expedition. The Galileo Project needs more than one million dollars to become a reality. According to Siraj, that's a good value.
"Launching a space mission to a future object passing through the Earth's neighborhood is an alternative way to study an object at close range," said Siraj, who is working with Loeb. It would be 1000 times more expensive than that.
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