Physicist Avi Loeb from Harvard University made headlines a few years ago by suggesting that “Oumuamua” may be an alien spacecraft. Recently, he discovered mysterious traces of a meteorite called IM1. During an expedition to the Pacific Ocean, Loeb’s team found 50 small “cosmic spherules” that may have come from a fallen meteorite. Some believe this could be evidence of an extraterrestrial vehicle from beyond our solar system.
The background behind the spherules
Avi Loeb’s interest was piqued in 2019 when he came across one of the records in NASA‘s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). In 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense detected a meteorite that entered the Earth’s atmosphere. It exploded over the South Pacific Ocean, near Papua New Guinea. The meteorite’s speed and the altitude at which it exploded were exceptional. This indicated that the object was made of stronger material than other space rocks recorded so far.
Avi Loeb obtained funding for a salvage expedition to retrieve the IM1 wreckage. Using a one-meter-wide magnetic trailer, the team collected “small metallic beads” of half a millimeter in diameter within a week. Further analysis revealed the beads to be an alloy of steel and titanium, known as S5. The team concluded that the artificial origin of the S5 steel was stronger than the iron found in conventional meteorites. The spherules were likely older than the solar system.
However, several alternative hypotheses are contrary to those of Loeb’s. Experts in this field state that it cannot rule out that the spherules come from Earth or have a natural origin.
Currently, there is no data available to accept or reject any of the hypotheses. Further analysis will provide more information to rule out options and learn more about its origin.