Saturday, July 30, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

'Black glass' could be comet chunk


Posted on Friday, 11 October, 2013 | Comment icon 7 comments

Scientists believe the object could have been part of a comet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL
A remarkable charred black pebble could be the first large-scale comet fragment ever recovered.
The 30-gram object was discovered in the Egyptian desert near the Libyan border by geologist Aly Barakat in 1996. The area is part of a 6000-square-kilometre region well known for being covered in green glass fragments believed to have been formed by a meteor strike.

Several years on and the black stone has been subjected to a plethora of scientific testing that has helped identify it as something of great significance, a fragment of material that may have come from a comet.

Up until now, scientists have only ever found tiny grains of cometary material in the Earth's atmosphere and in Antarctic ice. If the fragment does turn out to be from a comet then it would be the first large-scale piece of a comet ever discovered. It would also mean that the green glass in the Egyptian desert was formed by a comet explosion, not a meteor.

"We can study material from the outermost solar system for the first time," said study team member Jan Kramers. "This is actually quite exciting."

Source: New Scientist | Comments (7)

Tags: Comet


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hobbit Feet on 11 October, 2013, 13:33
I thought green glass was from volcanos.
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 11 October, 2013, 14:51
I thought green glass was from volcanos. And old Coke bottles. Seriously, if the meteor/comet hit with enough force and heat, I can see glass being formed. I guess the color would have been from the composition of the meteor.
Comment icon #3 Posted by YukiEsmaElite0 on 11 October, 2013, 17:00
Meteors and comets are made from all sorts of minerals. I could see the mineral being spread through the glass as it's being made and giving it colour.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Sundew on 11 October, 2013, 20:43
I thought green glass was from volcanos. Comets are supposedly made of dust, rock and ice, when they hit the atmosphere most of it probably burns up, perhaps this is just some of the dust fused together by the heat of hitting the atmosphere, much like when the heat from lightning fuses sand together to form fulgurites.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 12 October, 2013, 10:37
when they hit the atmosphere most of it probably burns up, Not so. They may be made of ice but remember that ice at the temperatures experienced in the coldness of space acts more like rock. Travelling at tens of thousands of miles an hour, the passage through the thin atmosphere takes only a few seconds. In the case of a large comet this will only heat up the surface, the vast majority of the comet will remain intact until they hit the Earth. The atmosphere protects us from small objects but it is no protection against large asteroids and comets.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Sundew on 17 October, 2013, 0:50
Not so. They may be made of ice but remember that ice at the temperatures experienced in the coldness of space acts more like rock. Travelling at tens of thousands of miles an hour, the passage through the thin atmosphere takes only a few seconds. In the case of a large comet this will only heat up the surface, the vast majority of the comet will remain intact until they hit the Earth. The atmosphere protects us from small objects but it is no protection against large asteroids and comets. Hmm, I guess I was thinking more along the lines of cometary fragments, like some of the meteor showers t... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by TracyTracy on 22 October, 2013, 21:12
According to Wikipedia, archaeologists tag this same area with the earliest known glass artifacts of human culture which were bead-like. Sounds as though these beads may have been made from bits of the comet as opposed to being manufactured by humankind. Makes sense!


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
How much would the Enterprise cost to run ?
7-30-2016
An engineering firm has attempted to calculate how much Captain Kirk's ship would actually cost to run.
Mammoth cloning attempt in 'initial stages'
7-30-2016
Russian and Korean scientists have made an important first step towards creating a live woolly mammoth.
Norway is planning to give Finland a mountain
7-30-2016
The summit of Mount Halti could be gifted to Finland to celebrate 100 years of independence from Russia.
Cheese discovered in 340-year-old shipwreck
7-29-2016
A container of foul-smelling cheese has been recovered from the site of a sunken 17th-century gunship.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Unboxing an $8000 robot
Posted 7-30-2016 | 1 comment
For the technology enthusiast who has everything - here's Nao the robot.
 
Can you crash something in to the sun ?
Posted 7-29-2016 | 0 comments
A look at the difficulties involved in sending a spacecraft to collide with the sun.
 
What if Lego figures were real ?
Posted 7-28-2016 | 4 comments
A bizarre look at a creepy Lego-inspired mask that turns you in to a life-sized Lego minifigure.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Light in Orion
7-23-2016 | Tampa, Florida
 
Girl with the broken neck
7-23-2016 | Mississippi
 
Holes in cotton clothing
7-23-2016 | Somerset, UK
 
Three knocks in the night
6-28-2016 | Cedar City, Utah
 
Mr Button and laurel leaves
6-28-2016 | Unknown
 
Knocking on the door
6-28-2016 | Virginia, United States
 
Not in our jurisdiction
5-2-2016 | California, United States
 
Zippers and headlights
5-2-2016 | Raleigh, United States
 
Spinning, voiceless and breathless
5-2-2016 | Garland, Texas
 
Paralyzed
4-15-2016 | United States
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ