Fireball struck near Hamburg, Michigan, in 2018 It could provide new insights into the history of the solar system, the researchers said.
The fireball – a type of bright meteor that can be noticed even in broad daylight – was seen in several states as it flew across the sky on the evening of January 16, 2018.The meteorite also produced a shock wave in the atmosphere equivalent to a magnitude 2.0 earthquake.
Walnut-sized shards were quickly recovered from strawberry and bass lakes by meteor hunters using information from scientists who were tracking their path using NASA’s weather radar.
“Finding a pebble-sized chunk in a frozen lake or in snow cover is difficult if you don’t know where to look,” said Philip Hick, co-author of the report and associate professor at the University of Chicago. Also curator of the Meteorites, Rocks and Minerals Collection at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
Heck and his colleagues have now released an in-depth report examining three of the meteorite pieces housed in the Field Museum.
The results revealed that the space rock is a type known as the H4 chondrite – a relatively rare subspecies of a class of meteorites common in clusters.
“[These] Heck said only 4% of all falls today.
Heck added that an initial analysis of the space rock revealed that the meteorite contained 2,600 different organic compounds. While a larger group has been found in other meteorites, Heck said the results add weight to the much-putative idea that meteorites may have played a role in initiating life on Earth.
“I personally found it astonishing how many organic compounds were still in this meteorite despite its thermal transformation,” Heck said.
But there were other visions.
“We found it [this meteorite] Heck said, noting that this is the first evidence of this particular event.
Analysis of the meteorite’s argon levels, resulting from radioactive decay, shed light on the history of the asteroid itself, with Heck indicating the element’s release when collisions occurred. “We found that nothing else has happened since [parent asteroid] It formed 4.5 billion years ago, ”Heck said.
Heck said that when the Hamburg meteorite fell on frozen ice, it was relatively unspoiled. But to obtain a truly original sample, it is necessary to recover space rocks directly from asteroids: an endeavor that a number of space missions have embarked on. Including the NASA Osiris Rex spacecraft Which is set to return to Earth in 2023.
Dr Catherine Joy, an expert in meteorites and lunar science at the University of Manchester, who was not involved in the report, said that space rocks such as the Hamburg meteorite are exciting because they are new samples from outside the planet.
Looking at minerals, age and chemistry [meteorites] We can look back in time to understand how the parent asteroid body relates to other asteroids and small bodies that we know formed at the same time during the first few million years after the sun formed, “she said.
Joy added that Fireball Network in the UK He is currently watching the sky for meteors, and encourages readers to report their sight to the network.
“It will be an exciting day when we get the right kind of fireball and can go out, track down the falling stone and analyze it to find out where it came from,” she said. “It would be absolutely cool if it was from an entirely unique type of asteroid or a piece of a large object like the Moon or Mars.”