Tuesday, July 20, 2021 – 17:53 | Last Updated : 20 07 2021 – 17:53
Scientists reported that the asteroid found in England is 4.6 billion years old and that the ancient rock was formed during the formation of the Solar System. The researchers emphasized that the meteorite contains organic compounds, so it is one of the oldest evidences of how life began in the universe.
The priceless piece of meteorite, measuring 5 meters long, was found in March near the village of Woodmancote in Gloucestershire by chemist Derek Robson, NTV reported.
CONTAINS ORGANIC COMPOUNDS
However, the ancient rock is a rare example of carbonaceous chondrite, a type of meteorite that contains biological material. Only less than 5 percent of meteorites that fall to Earth belong to this classification.
Finding the meteorite in muddy fields outside of Woodmancote on the morning of March 28, Robson said, “Carbony chondrites contain organic compounds, including amino acids, found in all living things. Being able to detect and confirm the existence of such compounds from a material that existed before the earth was born is important for understanding how life began. It will be a step forward,” he said.
On the other hand, scientists at Loughborough University in England are working on the meteorite to determine its structure and composition, and they will publish their results in a future study.
Using a variety of techniques, including electron microscopy, to probe surface morphology at the nanometer scale (equivalent to one billionth of a metre), researchers have released stunning new images that show the meteorite’s details with high precision.
Scientists have found that until now, the meteorite had never suffered the violent cosmic collisions that most ancient space debris experienced when it came together to form the Solar System’s planets and moons. But the asteroid contains a physical structure never seen in other previously recorded specimens.
‘WE HAVE A RARE OPPORTUNITY’
Shaun Fowler, specialist in optics and electron microscopy at the Loughborough Center for Materials Characterization (LMCC), said: “The interior is brittle and loosely bound, cracked and porous. It doesn’t appear to have undergone thermal metamorphosis, which means it’s beyond Mars. “This means that it sits untouched. This indicates that we had a rare opportunity to study a piece of our primitive past before any of the planets formed.”