Tagged: Oort cloud

A Mysterious Object from Earth’s distant past has returned

(GIZMODO) — A first-of-its-kind space rock filled with pristine material from the formation of the Earth itself has returned to the inner solar system, after billions of years in the cosmic boondocks. And it could help us piece together our planet’s origin story.

Four and a half billion years ago, chunks of the same material that formed Earth and the other rocky planets are thought to have been flung into the Oort cloud, a ring of icy debris encircling the outermost edge of the solar system. Untouched, they’ve been preserved for eons in the deep freeze of space. Now, astronomers have spotted one of these fossils nearby, marking the very first observation of a rocky object from the Oort cloud. Read more »