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Fireball meteor over Brazil may have come from another solar system

A fireball meteor blazed over the skies of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, last month on May 30. Experts believe that the fireball could be the third interstellar object that has visited the Solar System.

Only two objects that originated outside our solar system have ever been previously recorded passing by Earth, one in 2017 and another in 2019.

Most comets and meteors observed from Earth are local to our solar system, orbiting the Sun.

But a space rock that turned into a fireball over Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil on May 30 may have come from ‘outside the solar system’, based on its speed and trajectory Brazil’s Meteor Watch Network (BRAMON), said in a translated statement.

‘An earthgrazer meteor that occurred in Rio Grande do Sul last May 30th, may have been generated by an interstellar meteoroid, that is, coming from outside the solar system,’ the organization said in the statement.

The space rock is considered an Earthgrazer due to the low angle at which it hit Earth’s atmosphere, at just 6.1 degrees, starting to glow at an altitude of 101 miles (162.7km) south of Capão Comprido, RS.

According to NASA, Earthgrazers ‘can travel a considerable distance before getting low enough to completely burn up.’

BRAMON made the preliminary determination that the fireball has interstellar origins after analyzing the record from two cameras in Taquara, Rio Grande do Sul and Tangará, Santa Catarina.

The agency also highlighted the space rock’s ‘great speed,’ noting that it was traveling at speeds of (143,350 miles (230,700km) per hour.

It traveled a distance of 151 miles (243.6km) in 3.8 seconds, before disappearing east of Carlos Barbosa, RS.

‘Very fast meteors can have a cometary origin, coming from the farthest reaches of the Solar System, or even from outside it,’ the agency added.

‘If this is confirmed, it will be the first interstellar meteor recorded by BRAMON, which shows that the phenomenon is extremely rare and that it is worth studying in more depth,’ BRAMON added.

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