A grapefruit-sized fireball from the mysterious Oort Cloud could rewrite the history of the solar system

A dazzling fireball that has finished its cosmic journey over central Alberta, Canada could change astronomers’ understanding of how the solar system formed 4.5 billion years ago.

Captured on camera on February 22, 2021, the stony, grapefruit-sized meteorite is believed to have come from the Oort Cloud, a reservoir of celestial bodies that surrounds and separates the entire solar system from interstellar space. Scientists have never directly observed the rocky bodies in the Oort Cloud and have long believed that they contain only icy bodies. But the rocky body that burned up over Canada challenges popular theories about the formation of the Oort Cloud, and the formation of the early solar system in general, according to a study published Dec. 12 in the journal Solar System. natural astronomy (Opens in a new tab).

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