Avi Loeb, a professor at Harvard University, recently wrapped up a $1.5 million expedition to look for signs of the mysterious IM1 meteor, which landed in 2014 off the coast of Papua New Guinea. He thinks he has discovered evidence of their presence at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
The 61-year-old scientist told The Independent that a group of deep-sea investigators found 50 small spherules or molten drops. “I watched as they used a magnetic sledge to locate the minute spherules. From the expedition ship, the sledge was released.”
He said that the tiny objects are about half a millimeter in size. “It is expected that those objects are made from a steel-titanium alloy which is much stronger than the iron found in regular meteors.”
Although more research is needed, Professor Leob thinks the tiny items are either produced by an intelligent extraterrestrial culture or have interplanetary origins, according to The Independent.
2019 saw the start of Prof. Leob’s mission to look for meteorite evidence after his study team became interested in IM1. The team searched NASA’s open-source meteor database at the time for any unusual space rocks discovered near the Earth.
They said that IM1 is notable for having a high velocity because it moved 95% more quickly than surrounding stars. The Independent adds that IM1 also burst much lower in the Earth’s atmosphere than typical meteors. The object, according to Prof. Leob, was tougher than every other space rock in the same NASA catalogue. In other words, he said, it was a material strength outlier.
He and his colleague Amir Siraj are more than 99% sure that IM1 had traveled to Earth from another star.