The ‘fireball’ meteorite that fell to Earth in 2018 reveals its secrets

The 'fireball' meteorite that fell to Earth in 2018 reveals its secrets
Mika, a firefighter, was seen crossing the sky in the Midwest and Ontario in the evening. January 16, 2018. Weather data helped scientists quickly track where meter fragments fell to the ground so they could collect samples from the ground before they became highly contaminated.

“The weather radar is for detecting hail and rain,” said Philip Heck, lead study author and co-professor at the University of Chicago’s Field Museum in Chicago. “These meteorite fragments came in the same size range, and so the weather radar helped determine the meteor’s position and velocity. That means we were able to find it very quickly.”

Elements on Earth, including liquid water, can change the chemical composition of a meteorite before it accumulates.

But the Hamburg Alka – collected less than two days after falling to Earth – is a prime example of a large-scale unfavorable weather.

Robert Ward, a meteoric hunter, found the first piece of meteorite sitting on the north surface of Strawberry Lake near Hamburg, Michigan. Ward and private collector Terry Baudroux made separate donations to Field Mr. Muse Ziam for study.

“This meteorite is special because it fell into a frozen lake and was quickly recovered. It was very old. We can see that the minerals did not change much and later it was discovered that it is rich in foreign organic compounds. Was the object. ” “These types of organic compounds were probably transported to the mainland by mute areas and may have contributed to the elements of life.”

The study, published in the Journal of Meteorology and Earth Sciences on Tuesday.

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“When I arrived at Metroit Field, I spent the whole Saturday analyzing it, because I was curious to know what kind of meteor it was and what it contained,” said Jenica Greer, a study colleague and a doctoral student. Field and the University of Chicago in a statement.

“With every meteorite that falls, there is a chance that something completely new and completely unexpected happens.”

That is what they have learned.

Memories from space

Hamburg is a different part because it was collected so quickly after it fell to the ground. This means that the separator does not sit still for a long time to mow the lawn, to rust its metals, to contaminate it by cracking for water, or to replace its mineral (like olive).

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This quick release of Metroirt makes it “amazing,” Hack told CNN in an email. And the echo around Metroit led it to be thoroughly studied and analyzed by researchers from 24 different organizations.

Scientists believe that the Hamburg Alka was pulled out of the storm by its parents about 12 million years ago, traveling through space until it came to Earth. Meteorological analysis revealed that the rock had been exposed to cosmic rays for 12 million years while zipping into space.

The meteorite fragments that fall on Strawberry Lake contain valuable organic compounds.

“This meteorite came from a ship that was formed 4.5 billion years ago, about 20 million years after the formation of our solar system,” he said.

It contained 2,600 different organic compounds covering the Hamburg Alka Parents star.

This is what is called H4 chondrite, a type of meteorite that is not known to be rich in organic matter.

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“This meteorite represents a high diversity of organic matter. If someone was interested in studying biological life, it would not be the type of meteorite they would ask to see,” Greer said. “But because there was so much excitement around it, everyone wanted to apply their own technology, so we have unusually extensive data for the same meteorite.”

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In general, carbonaceous chondritis is a thousand times richer in organic matter than H4 chondritis, Heck said. The near-Earth planet Bannu, which was recently sampled by NASA’s OCRIS-Rex mission, is rich in carbon.

“The fact that this simple chondrite meteorite was rich in organic matter supports the hypothesis that meteorology played a significant role in delivering organic compounds to the early Earth.” “Meteorites fell on our planet in the history of the Earth even before the formation of Earth life and possibly the handing over of some building blocks for Earth life.”

Organic matter in the meteorite was once heated to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit while it was still part of its measured storm. It actually reduced the diversity of organic compounds in Metroite from millions to thousands. But Heck was still amazed at how many organic compounds were still in the meteorite despite the heat-induced changes.

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The researchers found hydrocarbons as well as sulfur and nitrogen compounds.

“There is still a lot of work to be done to better understand the different chemical pathways and different processes of different compounds,” Heck said.

The Hamburg weather can be compared to other specimens collected in the future – including original samples from the storm by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s Hayabusa 2 mission and NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex mission. The first sample from the star-studded Ryugu will be delivered to Earth by Hayabus 2 in December, while the Benu sample will return in 2023.

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“But we’re also looking for new Metroit Falls,” Heck said. “Every single fall on Earth is worth studying separately, as it could provide a unique perspective on the solar system and shed new light on its history and our origins.”

Raven Weber

About the author: Raven Weber

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