Somehow it seems the more we learn about the planet we live on, the stranger it seems to us still. One recent study has revealed that tiny pebbles found by researchers in the ocean near the coast of Papa New Guinea might actually be from an entirely different solar system.
According to the study, the history of these rocks shows that it could have crossed light years of space as it orbited a star that was not our Sun. According the research, the US government had tracked the bolide meteor, classified CNEOS 2014-01-08 (or IM1) up until it disintegrated over the Pacific Ocean in 2014. Scientists are now examining the material a little more closely, using a set of powerful rare-earth magnets. They've already unearthed hundreds of tiny spherules measuring 0.05 to 1.3 millimeters in diameter from sediment reaching approximately 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) below the surface of the Earth. An evaluation of 57 individual pieces by a team of researchers from Harvard University has revealed that a few of them don't possess the chemical properties we'd normally find in our own Solar System! This suggests that IM1 probably crossed interstellar space before entering the Earth's atmosphere.
"This is a historic discovery, marking the first time that humans hold materials from a large interstellar object, and I am extremely pleased with these results from this rigorous scientific analysis," says Charles Hoskinson, an American entrepreneur who helped fund the expedition to recover the remains of the meteor. Since the materials heavily contain metals like beryllium (Be), lanthanum (La), and uranium (U) at ratios never seen in our own planetary neighborhood, scientists admit it's becoming more and more likely that these rock particles aren't from our world.
It's a landmark discovery to say the least, and it's got scientists stumped. The bizarre findings are bringing in all sorts of opinions from researchers, with some saying they're skeptic of the results. However, the Galileo Project's ultimate goal is not only to discover materials of extrasolar origin, but also to pick up signs of alien technology. And for this reason, we can expect quite a polarized conversation about the strange phenomenon, and something tells us this debate will go on for quite some time. Stay tuned...