Astronomers: interstellar meteors slam into the atmosphere at near-light speeds

every month the Earth’s atmosphere at sublight (!) speed burst meteors break the interstellar abyss. They dispersed space disasters: explosions of supernovas. Scientists have made such amazing insights offer ways to find traces of the space hotel.

Details are set out in research paper aimed for publication in the edition of the Astrophysical Journal. Until then, you can read about their Preprint.

last year, Amir Siraj (Amir Siraj) and Abraham Loeb (Abraham Loeb) from Harvard University announced the discovery of the first interstellar meteor. Now, the same authors went further. In the new work, they analyze the hypothesis that some of these bodies enter the atmosphere at a speed of 1% light.

What forces can disperse an ordinary stone to such an extent? The authors suggest that this shock wave from supernova explosions.

Explain that on Earth there are such heavy elements like gold and uranium. They are formed in stars. Experts believe that such atomic nuclei are synthesized mainly in supernova explosions (although a significant role can play and collision of neutron stars).

“we Know that supernovae emit a considerable amount of dust on the subrelativistic (i.e., sublight — approx. ed.), speeds,” says Siraj in the material Universe Today.

While observers see some signs that part of this dust (although it is unknown what it is) is sent into the Universe in the form of lumps of millimeter or centimeter size.

“If even 0.01% of [mass] dust emission is contained in objects of millimeter or larger size, we expect that each month in the Earth’s atmosphere will appear subrelativistic meteor — based on the frequency of supernova explosions in the milky Way galaxy,” the scientist said.

Loeb and Siraj — not only experts, came to similar conclusions. The hypothesis of the existence sublight meteors in the millimetre and viskazalasü several astronomers. Among them, by the way, there were great Lyman Spitzer, after whom was named the famous space telescope.

Why in this case we know nothing about the existence of such “guests”? Because, oddly enough, never wanted to know.

“Meteors usually move at a speed of about 0.01% the speed of light, explains Siraj. — Therefore, current [methods] the search is configured to search for signals from objects moving with such speed.”

the Bodies flying a hundred times faster, just slip away from existing surveillance systems, says the expert.

In this regard, Siraj and Loeb began to wonder, what events will accompany such contact bustler from the aerial ocean of the planet. To do this, they developed a model of a hot plasma cloud that is formed around the sub-light meteor due to the friction of the air.

Scientists have found that about interstellar, visit the earthlings must warn flash light and acoustic shock. Both effects last about a tenth of a millisecond.

At the same time, they are easily accessible for observation at today’s technological level. Thus, a suitable optical detector measuring just one square centimeter (!) able to capture the flash from the combustion of millimeter sublight meteor. High-speed infrasonic microphones will help in the detection of the shock wave.

According to the calculations of authors, a global network of only 600 detectors covering the whole sky, able to catch several of these events per year.

it is also possible that such a network already exists. According to experts, the instrument, serving a database on fireball CNEOS, could cope with this task.

Another thing is that the results of observations of flashes and explosions with the interests of the authors characteristics… simply classified. Siraj and Loeb urged the US government to declassify these data, not to force the astronomers to create a duplicate network.

By the way, earlier “News.Science” ( wrote about the first two known objects that fall into the Solar system from interstellar space — Omoloi and Borisov.

Text: To.Science