Space & Astronomy
Mysterious 'alien' space rock discovered
By T.K. Randall
June 16, 2016 · 6 comments
The new find could help unravel the events of the early solar system. Image Credit: NASA
A 470 million-year-old meteorite has turned out to be quite unlike any that have been found before.
Discovered in limestone at a quarry in Sweden, the tennis-ball sized space rock possesses a chemical composition that is totally different to that of any other known meteorite.
Most of the 50,000 meteorites examined by scientists over the years belong to a class known as 'ordinary chondrites' which are thought to have originated from a single large asteroid.
This new meteorite however appears to be something else entirely.
"This does not resemble anything... even if we look at the big types that exist today and look at the broad ranges, this one falls completely outside of everything," physicist Birger Schmitz told NPR.
"All interpretations about how the solar system formed are based on the meteorites that fall on earth today and 80% are ordinary chondrite and the assumption is then that these meteorites are the type of material that dominates... that it's typical material for the solar system."
"But now we have the very, very first little clue, or indication, that there may have been other meteorites that were more common in the Earth's distant past."
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