In late February, a rare space rock entered our atmosphere at a speed of 48,000 km / h, illuminating the skies of southern England in flames. Some pieces of it fell into a home garage in Winchcomb, a small town in County Gloucestershire. Now scientists have discovered more details about the object.
Many observed the “slow” passage of the meteor, which was also recorded by astronomical and security cameras.
The scientists analyzed the fragments and were pleasantly surprised: they are the first meteorites of carbonaceous chondrite found in the country. The space rocks of this classification are particularly important as they go back to the formation of the solar system, the Earth, and life.
The meteorite – a small space object – was part of some relic asteroid created 4 billion years ago, which may have helped bring water to our planet. It has an extremely rare combination of materials with a high carbon content. It is expected to find amino acids, including basic components of life, evidence of pre-solar minerals, ice and organic compounds.
Fortunately, most of the pieces that fell into the house were recovered in less than 12 hours, which guarantees that they are free from land contamination. Residents quickly warned the nation’s researchers and carefully packed meteorites in aluminum foil. In the following days, he found even more “space debris”, about 300 grams of dark rock in total.
“It looks like coal,” Dr. of the Museum of Natural History in London. Ashley describes the king. “It’s really black, but very soft and very delicate. It’s exciting for us, because this type of meteorite is incredibly rare and contains important clues about our origins.”
This is the first time in 30 years that a meteorite has been recovered in Britain. The country is small and surrounded by water, which reduces the possibility of space rocks falling into its soil. There are approximately 65,000 meteorites worldwide, and only 51 of them are such carbonaceous chondrites.
Winchcombe meteorites are reminiscent of samples from the asteroid Ryugu, brought by the Japanese mission Hayatusa 2. “The opportunity to be one of the first people to see and study a meteorite that was recovered soon after the fall is a dream come true”, celebrates the king.