A fireball with unexpected features as seen by the Global Fireball Observatory camera at Miquelon Lake Provincial Park, Alberta.

Scientists trace a fireball on a strange rocky meteoroid from the outskirts of the solar system

A rocky meteoroid that exploded over Canada last year was more extraordinary than it first appeared: it came from the outer solar system, where scientists thought only icy bodies existed.

A cavalcade of professional and amateur astronomers took pictures and videos of the meteorites as it exploded over Alberta. Studying this data, the researchers determined that the meteoroid broke up like a rocky object, surviving deeper in earth’s atmosphere than icy objects on similar trajectories. However, the analysis also suggested that the meteoroid originated from the Oort cloudwell beyond Pluto. The discovery of a rocky body from this region could rewrite existing theories about how the solar system shape.

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