Scientists have confirmed that the asteroid that exploded over Germany on January 21 is a rare type of space rock that could hold the key to understanding the origins of Earth. space.com has reported. According to the report, scientists also said that fragments of asteroid 2024 BX1 were discovered just five days after the explosion. They further suggested that the meteorite fragments could belong to the rare category known as aubrites.
Before this, there had only been 11 cases of aubrite meteorite falls on Earth, said SETI Institute meteorite scientist Peter Jenniskens, a member of the team that discovered some of the meteorites. space.com. The extremely rare samples belong to a family of meteorites that represent only 1% of all known meteorites, he said as reported by space.com.
Speaking about the origin of the meteorites, Jenniskens said: “The interesting thing about this fall is that we have a very nice orbit, so the shape of the orbit itself contains clues about where the region of origin of these meteorites was,” according to quotes the newspaper. He further added that “they probably came from the inner side of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.”
“That’s a place where there’s probably a lot of debris, a collision that created a lot of smaller pieces called asteroid family,” he was quoted as saying. space.com.
The report further talked about the formation of BX1 and said that main belt asteroids, such as 2024 BX1, formed about 4.5 billion years ago, about the same period as the planets in the solar system. They were formed from material that was saved around the rising sun during the formation of the planets.
According to Jenniskens, like aubrites, these meteorites share many characteristics with Earth, including the proportion of water and the proportion of other chemicals, the report adds. The report also indicated that the size detected did not exceed 1 meter wide and could also be one of the smallest space rocks ever detected before colliding with Earth.
Meanwhile, in another report, the Earth also witnessed the passage of a series of asteroids in the week beginning January 29. According to media reports, of the five asteroids likely to pass near Earth, one will be the size of a “FIFA-accredited stadium.” The largest of the five, asteroid 2008 OS7, was first discovered in 2008 by NASA. It is supposed to pass close to Earth on February 2, at a distance of 1.77 million miles, which is relatively close in cosmic terms.
(With contributions from Space.com)
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