A meteorite "the size of a washing machine" collapsed and rained in a Costa Rican town last month.
Since then, they have classified it as an "extraterrestrial clay ball" this could provide information on the origin of our solar system, say the scientists.
Residents of Aguas Zarcas, A small town in Costa Rica, originally reported that the meteor was a "great fireball in the sky" when it first appeared on April 23rd. When the meteor entered the atmosphere, it raided hundreds of meteorites that landed around the city, including a two-pound rock that crashed into someone's roof, breaking a dining table.
While dry meteorites are quite common, the scientists found that those who landed in Costa Rica were made of wet clay. The rare "carbonaceous chondrites" are rich in organic compounds and filled with water, which It could provide information on how to extract water from asteroids in space.
"Many carbonaceous chondrites are clay spheres that have between 80 and 95% clay," said Laurence Garvie, researcher at the School of Earth and Space Exploration and curator of the Center for Meteorological Studies at the State University of California. News from Arizona to CBS. "The clays are important because the water is an integral part of their structure".
After the first reports, scientists ran to get a piece of history before the meteorite fragments could be destroyed by rain. A total of 55 pounds have been recovered so far.
Garvie said that scientists from around the world will study these meteorites in the coming years, looking for a look at the history of the Solar System. "Nature said" you're here and now we have to be smart enough to separate the individual components and understand what they're telling us, "Garvie said.
Scientists have already determined where the meteor comes from. "It was formed in a free living environment, so it was kept cold and empty of space for 4,560 million years and then abandoned in Costa Rica," explained Garvie.
A significant carbonaceous meteorite from the chondrites has not landed on Earth in 50 years, since it arrived in Australia in 1969. It has become one of the most studied meteorites in the world.
"Carbonaceous chondrites are relatively rare among meteorites, but they are among the most sought after by researchers because they contain the best preserved clues on the origin of the solar system," said the director of the center. Meenakshi Wadhwa. "This new meteor represents one of the most significant scientific additions to our wonderful collection in recent years."
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