Almost 300 grams (10.6 ounces) of the meteorite were collected in the small town of Wincombe in Gloucestershire by scientists, who said the rock was formed from carbonic chondrite. The substance is among the most primitive and purest substances in the solar system, and it is known to contain organic matter and amino acids – the building blocks of life.
The Natural History Museum in London said the pieces were recovered in good condition and very soon after the meteorite fell, so they could be compared to rock samples that were returned from space missions, in terms of quality and quantity.
“I was shocked when I saw it and immediately knew it was a rare meteorite and an absolutely unique event. It was touching to be the first to confirm to the people standing in front of you that the noise they had heard on their way during the night, ”said Richard Greenwood, planetary scientist at the Open University, in a statement. From the museum: “The truth is the truth.” He was the first scientist to recognize a meteorite.
The museum said there are around 65,000 known meteorites on Earth. Only 1206 were seen falling, and among them only 51 were carbon chondrites.
Thousands of eyewitnesses saw the fireball across the UK and northern Europe and were captured by home surveillance and other cameras as it fell to the ground at 9:54 p.m. GMT. February 28.
The original space rock was traveling at around 14 kilometers per second before touching Earth’s atmosphere and eventually landing on a runway at Wincombe. Other fragments of the meteor were found in the local area.
“Almost all meteors come to us from asteroids, and it is the remaining building blocks of the solar system that can tell us how planets formed like Earth. The opportunity to be one of the first people to see and study a meteorite recovered almost immediately after a fall is a dream come true! Said Ashley King, UK research and innovation fellow in the museum’s geosciences department.
Meteorites are much older than any rock on Earth. The museum said they typically traveled thousands of years in space before being captured – usually by the sun, but sometimes by Earth. As these cosmic objects travel through the atmosphere, they sometimes produce a brilliant fireball before landing on Earth, as was the case with this meteorite.
According to the museum, more meteorite fragments – which can be found in the form of black stones, piles of small rocks or even dust – could be discovered.