Earth visited by a traveler from the edge of Solar system

A spherical layer of objects frozen in time exists at the edge of the solar system, and some of these objects are occasionally nudged toward the Sun. This is known as the Oort cloud, and as the object moves toward the Sun, it begins to burn up in the intense heat of the Sun, leaving behind a fiery tail.

One such object passed through Earth’s atmosphere in 2021 as a dazzling fireball over central Alberta, Canada. The fireball held secrets that would likely change our understanding of our solar system’s origin. While these comets are thought to be icy in nature, the one over Alberta was not.

An international team of scientists, stargazers, and professional and amateur astronomers discovered the object’s origin in the Oort Cloud. Scientists have yet to directly observe any objects in the Oort Cloud, but everything detected so far has been made of ice.

The findings published in Nature Astronomy state that significant rocky material is implanted in the Oort cloud, a result not explained by traditional Solar System formation models.

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