Couldn't it have come from outside our solar system, in which case it is pretty much irrelevant whether it is presolar or not? Granted, that would also make it pretty exciting :-)
It seems a bit premature to question the formation theory of the solar system, based on a single rock from which we don't know if it even formed inside the solar system.
"Most (99 percent) of the meteorite inventory on Earth comes from the main asteroid belt, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. A small fraction of meteorites come from Mars (about 180) and the Moon (about 275). Some meteorites have been suspected to come from comets. Famous astronomer Carl Sagan once said, “It is unlikely that a single meteorite of extrasolar origin has ever reached the surface of the Earth.” Numerical calculations suggest that the possibility of exchange of meteoritic fragments between stellar systems is highly unlikely. Indeed, extrasolar meteorites have not been identified in our meteorite collections."
So it's still highly probable that it's still from the stuff of our solar system, it's just the question how homogeneous the stuff was and did the stuff coalesce before or after the Sun was formed. But we know that stuff formed in the cold, from the University of Johannesburg press release:
"What we do know is that Hypatia was formed in a cold environment, probably at temperatures below that of liquid nitrogen on Earth (-196 Celsius). In our solar system it would have been way further out than the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, where most meteorites come from. Comets come mainly from the Kuiper Belt, beyond the orbit of Neptune and about 40 times as far away from the sun as we are. Some come from the Oort Cloud, even further out. We know very little about the chemical compositions of space objects out there. So our next question will dig further into where Hypatia came from."
Just the one. What are the odds that another passes through our solar system, and another, and what are the odds that any of those lands on earth? Close to 0.
Of course smaller and larger interstellar objects will also pass through the solar system. Objects half the size -- which presently we'd be quite lucky to detect -- should pass through with ~5 times the frequency, assuming a size/frequency distribution similar to asteroids. Objects with a quarter the size (currently almost impossible to detect) should be ~25 times as frequent, etc. There is presumably a lower bound to this: at some minimum size, interstellar objects will be repelled by light pressure and the solar wind. I have no idea what this size might be, but for argument's sake let's say that is 1/8th the size of `Oumuamua.
So for any given year, the probability of interstellar objects passing through the solar system, should be as follows, (where `Oumuamua is size=1):
Size | Annual probability
0.125 | 12.5
0.25 | 2.5
0.5 | 0.5
1 | 0.1
2 | 0.02
4 | 0.004
8 | 0.0008
Multiplying that by the ~4 billion years that the Earth has been around to run into, and you get a very large number. It seems certain that some small fraction of that large number would have run into Earth. So based on this back-of-the-envelope analysis, either the actual probabilities are MUCH lower -- as in thousands of times lower -- and we were unbelievably lucky to see `Oumuamua when we did, or Carl Sagan was wrong.
No it's not. It's impossible to deduce anything from a sample size of 1. (And yes I realise that this invalidates my point as well.)
Analogously, we've had the capability to to detect `Oumuamua-like objects for ~5 years, and after searching for 5 years, have found one such object. That's good enough to start making first-order estimates of probabilities. Such estimates will obviously change, possibly significantly, as more observation time goes by.
Absent error bars, you can't be certain of that first-order estimate is even approximately correct. But if it's not even vaguely correct, then that means your initial "heads" observation was very, very, unlikely. Hence my conclusion is valid: either we got extraordinarily lucky in detecting `Oumuamua when we did, or Carl Sagan is wrong.
Applying statistical analysis to single instances of things always seems like a major flaw to me - it being unlikely means that if we have a million earths few will have extra-solar matter on them. It doesn't really help when you have one Earth.
>> A small fraction of meteorites come from Mars (about 180) and the Moon (about 275).
How come that the moon being closer to earth, we have just 50% more meteorites Mars ? And how come we have so many more from the asteroid belt ?
EDIT: See this map of the solar system in delta-v terms:
EDIT2: Argh, I messed up my calculations and the distance from the moon is just 2410 m/s. You have to factor in how often Mars gets hit by stuff and the speed at which stuff is going given Mars's gravity well.
I always understood the large numbers of meteorites from Mars to be related to the fact that Mars is closer to the asteroid belt and therefore has had a lot more impacts historically...
So in a billion years, such an object could travel 100k light years, or the diameter of the entire galaxy.
Sub-relativistic interstellar travel is very slow on human timescales, but fast on geologic ones.
What Cthulhu_ meant is that the real explanation is something no human can even attempt to understand without immediately going insane. Calling it "aliens" is just our naïve, simplistic way of wishing away the cosmos.
Well, they just discovered it so that should be 'discovered so far'.
And how much do we know about the solar system to begin with, if it took this long to analyze a rock that was on the planet to begin with it stands to reason there will be many rocks like it and possibly others entirely unlike it in the rest of the solar system.
A lack of silicate matter sets the stone apart from interplanetary dust particles and known cometary material. This, along with the dual intermingled matrices internal to it, could indicate a high degree of heterogeneity in the early solar nebula.
The title is correct.
"Minerals are chemical compounds, and as such they can be described by fixed or a variable formula."
But now I think it means like:
"COMPOUND: A substance made up of atoms of more than one element, chemically bonded to one another"
Some of the compounds found are predominantly composed of elements that are expected to be minor constituents, particularly carbon, which is an element.
Compounds not found in the solar system. By the race that has not even left its little corner of the solar system yet.
Sure we have spectral analysis but fact remains there are parts of the solar system we can't investigate. So the title is a bit amusing and click-baitey.
It's like saying "I haven't found my keys yet and I've only looked around my desk".
And apparently, Egypt is not located on Earth.
How is a middle-eastern woman who lived circa ~400AD "western"? "The west" didn't take the lead in science until much, much later.
I say this as someone not particularly emotionally invested in the idea of "claiming" Hypatia for the West or anything like that. To tell the truth, the story of Hypatia has turned into a modern myth in various ways -- like the story of Galileo -- in which we end up coloring it with our own narratives.
If anyone is interested in details about Hypatia's life, I recommend reading this post which responds to the typical modern narrative about Hypatia: http://tofspot.blogspot.com/2017/10/the-herstory-of-hypatia....
I also recommend the more detailed series of posts by the same author, which gets into the political/social issues of the day, which is more interesting than you might think: https://tofspot.blogspot.com/2015/02/hypatia-part-i-mean-str...
Wikipedia lists Hypatia as "Greek", Greek and Roman culture is usually counted as "western".
It could also be meant in contrast to "eastern" as in Chinese and Indian astronomy.
In other languages (e.g. in German) one calls this part "Near East", "Middle East" is Iran -> India, "Far East" is South-East Asia, China, etc.
Better would surely be the "Hellenic astronomer", or just "Alexandrian astronomer" which places things reasonable well in geo-historical context. Would you call pharoahs "Western rulers"?
If you say Western I'd assume it's after the downfall of the Roman Empire.
Worth noting that Hypatia precedes the Qin dynasty by 200 years so there was no "Far East"/China in civilisation terms as such.
Pick up any book about "Western Civilization" and it always refers to the thing that nucleated with Greece and Rome, and then all the things that descended from it. Byzantium is absolutely part of this lineage.
Well, and not Islamic. The West is 'European,' so Roman North Africa & Roman Anatolia were Western. 'Near East' or 'Middle East' mean the now-Islamic world (much of it was Western pre-conquest). 'Far East' mean Chinese or Japanese. At one point I think 'Oriental' (a word just meaning 'Eastern') could also apply to folks from the Indian subcontinent, but that's pretty rare to nonexistent nowadays.
The contention is that the stone is not composed of material from the cloud of dust and gas which formed our solar system, and therefore does not share that common origin with the other material in our solar system we are familiar with.
Anyway, yeah, it's not hard to figure out what the title meant.
A compound in Egypt clearly places it in the solar system.