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'Missing link' asteroid fragment discovered

Posted on Thursday, 3 July, 2014 | Comment icon 9 comments

Earth was bombarded by meteors following the collision. Image Credit: NASA
A meteor shower 470 million years ago is thought to have initiated an explosion of life on Earth.
Asteroid impacts are something we tend to associate with apocalyptic disaster for our planet, a prime example being the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

On some occasions however asteroids can actually be beneficial for life on Earth, such as in the case of a meteor shower believed to have hit our planet 470 million years ago following a collision between two asteroids out in space.

Far from bringing death and destruction this shower of rocks seemed to kick-start a "major phase of biodiversification" around the world, leading to the development of countless new species.

Now scientists believe that they have identified a fragment, not of the meteor shower itself, but of the "bullet" asteroid that caused the collision that produced it. The find is quite unlike any asteroid piece ever discovered before.

"It's a very, very strange and unusual find," said study lead author Birger Schmitz. "I think [it] adds to the understanding that the meteorites that come down on Earth today may not be entirely representative of what is out there."

Source: Independent | Comments (9)

Tags: Asteroid, Earth

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer on 3 July, 2014, 19:42
So after reading the article, I get the impression that all life on Earth didn't come crawling out of the ocean. Anyone else read the article that way?
Comment icon #2 Posted by CuriousRey on 3 July, 2014, 21:24
The impression I get from the article is that they really haven't even completely identified whether or not this is the "bullet" asteroid in question. Even if it is they are still in the dark as to whether or not this had any influence on the biodiversification of life on the planet, it seems to just be speculatory at this point though the discovery itself is interesting.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 3 July, 2014, 21:27
Anyone else read the article that way? Not at all. The article makes no mention at all of how life started on Earth, it points out that an explosion in life forms came 490 million years ago at time of increased meteorite impacts but makes it clear that life was already here at the time: About 515 million years ago, our planet was going through an evolutionary slump. A burst of diversity that happened during the Cambrian period had tapered off, and few new types of animals were emerging. Mysteriously, about 25 million years later life sprang back into action in the early part of the Ordovician,... [More]
Comment icon #4 Posted by Ashyne on 4 July, 2014, 1:41
Bullet fired by an alien gun.
Comment icon #5 Posted by shrooma on 4 July, 2014, 21:46
QUOTE- Itís not clear exactly why the Ordovician meteor shower led to a greater variety of life on the planet. . funny., i was thinking the same thing...
Comment icon #6 Posted by TheGreatBeliever on 10 July, 2014, 13:48
I knew it! If its true it proves there might be beings like us on other planets
Comment icon #7 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 10 July, 2014, 14:56
I knew it! If its true it proves there might be beings like us on other planets How does it exactly? I'll answer that for you... it doesn't prove any such thing. All it suggests is that there may be a link between large meteorite impacts and rapid evolution of life on Earth. There is no suggestion, implicit or implied, of extraterrestrial life in this study. Even if there were evidence of extraterrestrial life being brought to Earth in meteorites (the Panspermia hypothesis) this would suggest that microbial life is common in the galaxy but would still offer not the slightest scrap of evidence ... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by magikgoddess on 12 July, 2014, 1:44
The impression I get from this article is that the meteorite impacts seemed to help add more different kinds of life by possible seeding... just space trying to balance out the boring fish life we had going on back then, lol...
Comment icon #9 Posted by taniwha on 13 July, 2014, 9:13
Yes unless they have got it wrong, it seems a meteorite ploughed into pre historic earth 470 million years ago followed seconds later by a burst of life. Incredible!

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