Scientists discover C/2014 S3 Manx or comet, the first rocky body from within the solar system as it was forming. The finding gives new clues about this time in the universe.
In September 1991, people were surprised at the discovery of Ötzi , dubbed then as the Iceman, in the foothills of the Alps. His remains was known as the oldest mummy in the world, preserved in good condition thanks to the low temperatures of Finialspitze, the summit at 3600 meters where he was.
The same happened with the famous mummies of Llullaillaco , found at 6,800 meters above sea level in Argentina. The bodies of the three children had been frozen for centuries, giving them appearance of staying asleep. The cold had achieved what seemed impossible: keep those archaeological remains in perfect condition.
Astronomy has finally discovered its first “Ötzi”, which allows us to look back to the time when the solar system and the planet Earth were formed. The observations made with the very large telescope of ESO and Telescope Hawaii-Canada-France have been able to detect the comet C / 2014 S3 (Pan – STARRS), whose characteristics suggest that it was born within our solar system as it was forming.
The research, published in the journal Science Advances, discovered an ancient rocky body that could be kicked out of our solar system billions of years ago. But as happened with the Iceman or the mummies of Llullaillaco, this comet has been preserved intact by the low temperatures of the Oort cloud.
According to Karen Meech, leader of the team of scientists who developed this work, we knew of the existence of many asteroids, but all have been “cooked” by the warmth and closeness of the Sun for billions of years this is the first asteroid. The crude they have seen has been preserved there in the best freezer.
The rocky body, dubbed Manx – at present not characteristic tail like the cats of this kind- has been described as a “weak active comet” which stood at a distance of more than twice the space between the Sun from Earth.
Features such as its long period of orbit, which stands at 860 years suggest that this comet comes from the Oort cloud. However, its composition has led researchers to say that this rocky fragment is really old, but after being ejected from the inner solar system, has been preserved in the “freezer” Oort cloud.
According to the findings presented, the Manx comet or C/2014 S3 is the first found object from the time when the solar system and planet Earth formed. Therefore their finding may give us more clues about what happened in the universe billions of years ago.