Charles Hoskinson, founder of the Cardano blockchain platform, made waves this week with an announcement that he may have discovered the first known extrasolar object on Earth. In a tweet thread, Hoskinson revealed that he co-authored a paper analyzing samples collected from the Pacific Ocean floor. These samples appear to originate from outside our solar system.
The key evidence lies in the unusual elemental composition of spherules found in the samples. Hoskinson reported that the spherules have an “ultra high abundance” of the elements beryllium, lanthanum, and uranium. Additionally, this combination, referred to as BeLaU, suggests the material did not originate on Earth or our solar system.
While peer review and further analysis are still needed, Hoskinson believes the anomalous spherules likely came from a larger extrasolar object that entered our solar system and broke apart on entry into Earth’s atmosphere.
By tracing the underwater landing sites of other fragments, the research team hopes to determine if the object was merely a chunk of an extrasolar planet’s core or something more foreign like an alien probe or spacecraft.
Either way, if confirmed, this would be a momentous discovery. It would provide the first physical evidence that the building blocks of other planetary systems have reached Earth.
Hoskinson and colleagues now face the challenging task of convincing the scientific community of their extraordinary claim through rigorous processes of peer review, reproducibility, and further exploration. However, the fact that leading scientists are taking the idea seriously speaks to the credibility of the initial evidence.
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