A controversial celestial object

This article is taken from the monthly Sciences et Avenir – La Recherche n°911, dated January 2023.

A mysterious object crashed into the Pacific Ocean in 2014, 200 kilometers off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Named CNEOS-2014-01-08, it is only 45 cm wide and would have arrived at Earth at the very high speed of 216,000 km/h following a hyperbolic trajectory; evidence for its interstellar origin, according to two American researchers who publish their hypothesis in The Astrophysical Journal.

Data from spy satellites

It would thus be the first extrasolar object discovered to date, before the asteroid Oumuamua (2017) and the comet Borisov (2019). Problem: some data identifying this meteor comes from US Department of Defense spy satellites and is therefore classified, pushing the scientific community to be wary of this hypothesis by Avi Loeb, a controversial scientist who notably supports that Oumuamua is a vessel. However, the astronomer wants to mount an expedition before the end of 2023 to excavate the seabed in search of fragments of this object.


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