Newly Discovered Mysterious Object Likely The First Extinct Meteorite

First Posted: Jun 15, 2016 06:10 AM EDT

An extinct meteorite from a group of meteorite that does not fall on the Earth anymore may have been discovered. According to researchers, the ancient rock may provide information on the effect that produced the majority of the meteorite crashed on Earth that may have also affected the evolution of life.

The possible extinct meteorite is known to be ordinary chondrites that consist of small round pellets known as chondrules that are formed when droplets of molten mineral quickly cool in space. Such rocky meteorites are believed to have come from the same rocky asteroids.

The newly discovered extinct meteorite is a rock 3.5 inches long and 470 million years old. It was found in Thorsberg quarry,which is near the Swedish village Osteplana, along with over 100 L-type chrondites of the same age, Phys.Org reported.

The most common type of ordinary chondrite is called the L-type that comprises the 47 percent of these rocks. Based on previous research about meteorites found in ancient marine limestone, there was a hundredfold increase in the amount of L-type chrondites that crashed onto the Earth 470 million years ago. This implies that the parent asteroid of the entire L-type chondrites had a major collision with other asteroid at the same period.

According to reports, such cosmic impact happened in the Ordovian Period during which there were some major changes in the marine animal diversity on Earth, like the first emergence of coral reefs. Lead author Birger Schmitz of the Lund University in Sweden believes that a better understanding of the extraterrestrial collision may provide ideas about the astronomical disturbances could have influenced the Earth.

Now, researchers may have found an extinct meteorite, a remnant of the asteroid that crashed into the parent of the L-type chondrites. As explained by Schmitz, this gives clues on the kinds meteorites that fell to the Earth during the ancient past that were very dissimilar to those falling at present.

The findings about the extinct meteorite reveal that the meteorites discovered on Earth may not provide a complete idea of the types of bodies in the asteroid belt over 500 million years ago, or in the nebula cloud of gas and dust responsible for the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, according to BBC.

See Now: NASA's Juno Spacecraft's Rendezvous With Jupiter's Mammoth Cyclone

©2017 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission. The window to the world of science news.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics