Earth Was Hit by an Interstellar Asteroid Years Ago, Scientists Claim

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Two years ago, our solar system received an unexpected visitor from elsewhere in the galaxy. Astronomers spotted the asteroid ‘Oumuamua, which likely originated outside of our solar system, passing through on its way to who knows where. But now researchers claims that it wasn’t the first: Another interstellar asteroid actually crashed into the Earth in 2014.

What initially set ‘Oumuamua apart from every other asteroid we’ve ever seen is how quickly it was moving. The asteroids in our own solar system are gravitationally bound to the Sun, limiting how fast they can possibly move. Even the fastest asteroids have a speed limit they can never exceed.

‘Oumuamua, however, has none of those restrictions. When astronomers saw it rocketing through our solar system, they knew it was likely born around a different star than our own. Now, those same astronomers realized they could apply that same test to other observed asteroids, starting with ones that burned up in our planet’s atmosphere.

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