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An Interstellar Meteor May Have Slammed Into Earth

A few minutes after 3 a.m. on January 9, 2014, a fireball burned through the skies just off the northeast coast of Papua New Guinea; it was a meteor disintegrating in Earth’s atmosphere, as so many meteors do. But according to new research, this early morning visitor wasn’t just any old space rock going out with a bang. It was an interstellar interloper, a visitor launched into the cosmos from deep within another star system. If confirmed, the meteor will be only the second such object ever spotted by humans. The first, a bizarrely shaped space rock now called ’Oumuamua, whizzed through our solar system in 2017 and is now on its way back to the stars.

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