Scientists were greeted by a veritable blast from the past after discovering a giant meteorite containing the world’s oldest material. solar system.
Impressive 17 lb (7.6 kg) space rock found in Antarcticaone of the largest ever discovered, and could help shed new light on the evolution of the Sun and the planets.
It is like chondrites, the most primitive type of meteorite. Encyclopedia Britannica.
These rocks are thought to originate from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and are chemically very similar to the Sun.
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Dr Ashley King of the Natural History Museum in London said of the exciting discovery, “Meteorites this large are rarely found in Antarctica.
“The more meteorites, the more samples we have available to study and learn about the early solar system.”
More than 45,000 meteorites have been found on the continent in the last 100 years, but only about 100 of them this large. Most are micrometeorites ranging from tens to hundreds of grams.
Scientists share excitement over discovery of ‘extremely rare’ chondrites SWNS
The wilderness is the perfect place to search for surviving space rocks. Because the cold climate provides the best conditions for preservation. Additionally, active glaciers tend to churn ancient glaciers that were buried beneath the ice.
“When it comes to meteorites, size doesn’t have to be an issue,” said Dr. Maria Valdez of the Field Museum in Chicago.
“Even small micrometeorites are incredibly valuable from a scientific point of view. But of course, finding such large meteorites is extremely rare.”
Scientists show off their amazing discoveriesSWNS
Expedition members rode snowmobiles to reach a potential landing site previously mapped using satellite imagery and discovered five new specimens near the Princess Elizabeth Antarctic Research Station.
A computer neural network helped identify some locations with relatively little snow. One contained a meteorite.
The megachondrite has been kept in a coolbox to prevent thawing, which could damage its delicate chemical structure, and will be sent to a Belgian laboratory for further analysis.
The next step is to determine what these rocks can tell us about the universe.
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