Amir Siraj, a student at Harvard, and professor Avi Loeb have devised a proposal to use a massive magnet to fish out an interplanetary meteorite from the Pacific Ocean’s seafloor. It might sound like a scenario from a sci-fi film, but the two are serious about the possibilities of their $1.6 million Galileo Project, which they have argued is less expensive than sending a spaceship outside the solar system.
Siraj explained their strategy, saying they would use the ferrous characteristics of the meteorite to extract it.
‘Most meteorites contain enough iron that they will stick to the type of magnet we plan on using for the ocean expedition. Given its extremely high material strength, it is very likely that the fragments of CNEOS 2014-01-08 are ferromagnetic.’ said Siraj.
The Galileo Project’s ship would transport a magnetic sled on a longline winch, according to the project blueprint. The sled will be driven 1.7 kilometres down the ocean floor in an effort to sweep up even the tiniest meteorite bits, which can be as small as 0.004 inches.
It is important to remember that in 2014, an object with the name CNEOS 2014-01-08 visited Earth and then fell into the Pacific Ocean not far from the coast of Papua New Guinea. The meteorite is unique since it is considered an interstellar object, which means it originated from another star system.