New Constraints on the Composition and Initial Speed of CNEOS 2014-01-08

Amir Siraj, Abraham Loeb

accepted for publication in RNAAS
Submitted on 18 April 2022


“We study the newly released light curve from the fireball of the first interstellar meteor CNEOS 2014-01-08. The measured velocity and three observed flares down to an altitude of 18.7km imply ambient ram pressure in the range of 113−194 MPa when the meteor disintegrated. The required yield strength is ≳20 times higher than stony meteorites and ≳2 times larger than iron meteorites. The implied slowdown in the atmosphere suggests an initial speed of about 66.5km s−1, strengthening the case for an interstellar origin of this meteor and making it an outlier relative to the velocity dispersion of local stars. “