Meteors in the News ...

Comet Ingredients Swallowed by an Asteroid, Found Sealed Inside a Meteorite   Live Science - April 15, 2019
The raw materials from a comet have been found sealed inside a pristine, primitive meteorite. The meteorite was found in the LaPaz icefield of Antarctica and has weathered very little since the time it crashed to Earth. According to a new study published today (April 15) in the journal Nature Astronomy, researchers found that this sample of space rock contains something strange: bits of the building blocks of a comet that became trapped in the meteorite's parent asteroid just 3 million years after the solar system formed. Because this sample of cometary building block material was swallowed by an asteroid and preserved inside this meteorite, it was protected from the ravages of entering Earth's atmosphere.

On Feb. 9, 1913, hundreds of fireball meteors rained down on North America for no apparent reason. This strange event is known as the Great Meteor Procession of 1913 - February 9, 2019

On Feb. 9, 1913, hundreds of fireball meteors rained down on North America for no apparent reason. This strange event is known as the Great Meteor Procession of 1913. With typical meteor showers, meteors appear to originate from the same point in the sky called the radiant. But these meteors weren't shooting out from any kind of radiant. Instead, they seemed to be flying in formation and moving horizontally through the sky, parallel to Earth's surface. The meteors were also moving unusually slow, and the procession lasted for several minutes. To this day, astronomers aren't really sure what was up with this bizarre meteor shower.

12-pound lunar meteorite sells for more than $600,000   PhysOrg - October 20, 2018
The meteorite composed of six fragments that fit together like a puzzle.

Oldest-ever igneous meteorite contains clues to planet building blocks   Science Daily - August 6, 2018
Scientists believe the solar system was formed some 4.6 billion years ago when a cloud of gas and dust collapsed under gravity possibly triggered by a cataclysmic explosion from a nearby massive star or supernova. As this cloud collapsed, it formed a spinning disk with the sun in the center. Since then scientists have been able to establish the formation of the solar system piece by piece.

This Unusual Meteorite Flew Around in Space Before Earth Was Born   Live Science - August 6, 2018

Scientists discover rare mineral in lunar meteorite that suggests frozen water may be hiding beneath the moon's surface   Daily Mail - May 4, 2018
Mankind's first home away from Earth may soon be discovered, as new research shows that frozen water may be lurking beneath the moon's surface -- giving new hope that the dusty planet could sustain human life. Scientists say they've discovered traces of a rare mineral, called moganite, in a lunar meteorite that was found 13 years ago in northwest Africa. Mogamite, which is a crystal similar to quartz, requires the presence of water in order to form, so its discovery is being hailed as new proof that frozen water exists beneath the moon's surface.

Incredibly rare diamonds found inside a meteorite that crashed to Earth are remains of a lost planet created 4.5 billion years ago when the solar system formed   Daily Mail - April 17, 2018
The Almahitta Sitta is named after the location in Sudan above which the space rock exploded in 2008. Witnesses at the town of Wadi Halfa and at a railway stop in the Nubian desert, known as 'Station Six' or Almahata Sitta in Arabic, reported they had seen a 'rocket-like fireball' in the sky. This extremely rare type of meteorite, known as an ureilite, is one of the main families of meteorites and range from few grams up to few kilograms. The diamonds in the meteorite have tiny crystals inside them that would have required great pressure to form

  Essential compounds for life have been found in crystals from two meteors that have been on Earth for nearly 20 years   Daily Mail - January 10, 2018
Liquid water and other organic compounds essential for life have been discovered on ancient meteorites that fell to Earth almost 20 years ago. Experts examined crystals found on Zag and Monahans, two 4.5 billion-year-old rocks from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Despite landing on Earth in 1998, the minerals have only now been successfully analyzed thanks to advances in technology. The new study supports previous findings by Nasa's Dawn spacecraft, which suggest that the building blocks of life may be present on neighboring asteroids.

Scientists mine 'star scar' to unlock space secrets   PhysOrg - November 1, 2017
Since early September, the denizens of this normally hushed burg in central France have been serenaded by an industrial drill poking holes around town and pulling up cylinders of rock. That's because Rochechouart, population 3,800, and its medieval castle are built on top of an astrobleme - which literally means 'star scar' - is the name given to traces left by a major meteorite impact. This particular impact crater was made by a massive space rock that crash-landed more than 200 million years ago, and has intrigued scientists since its discovery in the 19th-century.

First big-picture look at meteorites from before giant space collision 466 million years ago   PhysOrg - January 23, 2017
Four hundred and sixty-six million years ago, there was a giant collision in outer space. Something hit an asteroid and broke it apart, sending chunks of rock falling to Earth as meteorites since before the time of the dinosaurs. But what kinds of meteorites were making their way to Earth before that collision? In a new study in Nature Astronomy, scientists have tackled that question by creating the first reconstruction of the distribution of meteorite types before the collision. They discovered that most of the meteorites we see today are, in the grand scheme of things, rare, while many meteorites that are rare today were common before the collision.

Mystery alien rock unearthed in Swedish quarry   The Guardian - June 15, 2016
A morsel of never-before-seen alien rock has been dug up in a limestone quarry in Sweden, where it had lain deeply buried for about 470m years, scientists said on Tuesday. The biscuit-sized remains are unlike any other meteorite found on Earth to date, and may shed light on the history and formation of our solar system.

'Fossil' meteorite was from asteroid smash-up   BBC - June 15, 2016
Scientists have identified a completely new type of meteorite. The 8cm space rock is said to be chemically distinct from any of the 50,000 other such objects held in collections. Called Osterplana 65, it was found in a limestone quarry in Thorsberg, Sweden, that produces floor tiles. Dating suggests the meteorite's parent body was involved in a huge collision in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter some 470 million years ago.

Double Whammy: 2 Meteors Hit Ancient Earth at the Same Time   Live Science - September 14, 2015
It's not altogether uncommon to hear about double rainbows, but what about a double meteor strike? It's a rare event, but researchers in Sweden recently found evidence that two meteors smacked into Earth at the same time, about 458 million years ago. Researchers from the University of Gothenburg uncovered two craters in the county of Jamtland in central Sweden. The meteors that formed the craters landed just a few miles from each other at the same moment, according to Erik Sturkell, a professor of geophysics and one of the scientists who is studying the newfound craters. When the meteors slammed into Earth, Jamtland was just a seafloor, about 1,600 feet (500 meters) below the surface of the water. One of the craters left by the meteors is huge, measuring 4.7 miles (7.5 kilometers) across. The other, smaller crater - which is only about 2,300 feet (700 m) across - is located just 10 miles (16 km) from its larger neighbor.

'Largest ever asteroid impact' found in Australia   BBC - March 24, 2015
The 400-kilometre (250-mile) wide area is buried deep in the earth's crust and consists of two separate impact scars. The team behind the discovery, from the Australian National University (ANU), said the asteroid broke into two before it hit, with each fragment more than 10km across. The impact is thought to have occurred at least 300 million years ago. The surface crater has long since disappeared from central Australia's Warburton Basin but geophysical modeling below the surface found evidence of two massive impacts.

Largest-ever meteorite crater found in Australian outback - March 23, 2015
Scientists have discovered two deep scars in the earth's crust in outback Australia that are believed to mark the remains of a meteorite crater with a 250-mile diameter - the largest ever found. The scars are each more than 120 miles in diameter and are believed to mark the spot where a meteorite split into two, moments before it slammed into earth. The impact is believed to have occurred more than 300 million years ago.

Asteroid impacts on Earth make structurally bizarre diamonds   PhysOrg - November 21, 2014
Scientists have argued for half a century about the existence of a form of diamond called lonsdaleite, which is associated with impacts by meteorites and asteroids. A group of scientists based mostly at Arizona State University now show that what has been called lonsdaleite is in fact a structurally disordered form of ordinary diamond.

Rare Mineral Discovered in Ancient Meteorite Impact Crater   Live Science - November 3, 2014
A rare mineral known from just three massive meteorite impacts has now turned up in a Wisconsin crater. Researchers discovered the mineral, called reidite, at the Rock Elm impact structure in western Wisconsin. Reidite is a dense form of zircon, one of the hardiest minerals on Earth. This is the oldest reidite ever found,, said Aaron Cavosie, a geochemist at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. The Rock Elm meteorite crater is 450 million to 470 million years old, he said.

'Biggest observed meteorite impact' hits Moon   BBC - February 24, 2014
Scientists say they have observed a record-breaking impact on the Moon. Spanish astronomers spotted a meteorite with a mass of about half a tonne crashing into the lunar surface last September. They say the collision would have generated a flash of light so bright that it would have been visible from Earth. "This is the largest, brightest impact we have ever observed on the Moon," said Prof Jose Madiedo, of the University of Huelva in south-western Spain. The explosive strike was spotted by the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (Midas) of telescopes in southern Spain on 11 September at 20:07 GMT.

Rock from heavens is a scientists' delight   PhysOrg - February 12, 2014
A year ago on Saturday, inhabitants of the Russian city of Chelyabinsk looked skyward, some frozen in fear that a nuclear war had begun. Overhead, an asteroid exploded in a ball of fire, sending debris plummeting to Earth in brilliant streaks. The shockwave blew out windows, hurting about 1,600 people, and the burst of ultraviolet light was so strong that more than two dozen people suffered skin burns. Today, enshrined in Russia's folk memory as a big scare, the Chelyabinsk Meteorite, for space scientists, is a boon. They say it has yielded unprecedented insights into the makeup and orbit of asteroids and the risks that a rogue rock may pose to Earth. Only a few asteroids ever cross Earth's path. Fewer still survive the fiery contest of friction with the atmosphere. Those that do are likely to fall in the sea, which covers more than two-thirds of the planet, or in a remote area, such as desert, tundra or Antarctica.

Meteor Over Manhattan: East Coast Fireball Sets Internet Abuzz   Live Science - March 23, 2013
A bright meteor briefly out shined the lights of New York City Friday evening (March 22), according to reports by witnesses who used Twitter and the Internet to report sightings of the fireball streaking over a broad stretch of the U.S. East Coast.