An unknown mineral found in a meteorite

What do you think, how many meteorites fall on ourplanet a year? According to experts, their number varies in the region of 5-6 tons per day, which is approximately 2 thousand tons per year. A lot, right? However, the first fall of a meteorite on our planet was recorded only in 1790. At that time, eyewitness accounts of objects that fell from heaven were often perceived by scientists as fabrications. Nowadays, these space wanderers, although at times sometimes entail devastating consequences, invading the Earth’s atmosphere, are still of great interest to scientists. So, a mineral was recently discovered that had not previously been found in nature. It turned out to be locked inside the Wedderburn meteorite, which was discovered in Australia in 1951.

This is the Wedderburn meteorite

What is a meteorite?

To begin with, between Mars and Jupiterthere is a belt of asteroids - small cosmic bodies that move in orbit around the sun. Meteorites are the stone and iron fragments of celestial bodies, for example, asteroids and comets, which fall on our planet. The size of the meteorite can be either very tiny or incredibly large.

The largest meteorite in the world is a meteorite.Goba. It fell into the territory of Namibia (Africa) more than 80 thousand years ago and was discovered in 1920. The weight of this beauty is more than 60 tons, and the diameter exceeds three meters. 84% gob consists of iron, which makes it the largest nugget of this metal on Earth. You can discuss the largest and smallest meteorites in our Telegram chat

Goba meteorite in person

Note that most sites visitingour planet, evaporate in the atmosphere, but some, larger ones, reach the Earth. If the meteorite’s route crosses the Earth’s orbit, then it rushes to the Earth’s atmosphere at great speed. We observe these objects as meteors or shooting stars.

The photo shows a meteor in the sky over Kuzbass

What was found in the Wedderburn meteorite?

In 1951, in the Australian outback nearbya red and black iron meteorite weighing 210 grams was discovered from the city of Weddenburn. According to planetologist Jeffrey Bonnin of the Australian National University, a meteorite formed inside the molten core of the planet millions of years ago.

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Since the discovery, the meteorite has been underthe gaze of scientists who want to determine its composition. In 2018, Chi Ma from the California Institute of Technology and Alan Rubin from the University of California at Los Angeles requested a meteorite sample. Scientists wanted to find out if it contains rare minerals.

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In their analysis, the researchers found that inmeteorite contains adscottite. This is a mineral that is formed during the smelting of cast iron, but is found in nature for the first time. However, if scientists are unable to detect the mineral formed in the natural environment, then it does not receive an official name. Ma and Rubin were able to identify the endoscottitis in the rock, where the mineral was formed naturally. Edscottite got its name in honor of Edward R.D. Scott, a space chemistry innovator from the University of Hawaii, for his outstanding contributions to meteorite research.

What else is found in meteorites?

Researchers believe that the core of an ancient planet,from which the Wedderburn meteorite originated, was molten. Hot metal dripped into the very center of the planet, and the heat and pressure probably produced an endgame. Probably, at some point, the planet collided with another celestial body, after which it was destroyed, and its debris was thrown into space. As a result, one of the debris - the Wedderburn meteorite - ended up in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. In the end, something knocked him off the orbital path and he collapsed to Earth.

Asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter

Edscottite is just one of a number of minerals,that were discovered in meteorites. Last year, Russian scientists announced the discovery of a wakita, which was discovered inside a gold-colored iron meteorite. He fell in the vicinity of the village of Wakit in Siberia. In 2017, three new minerals were discovered in the Khatyr meteorite, samples of which were discovered in 1979 and 2011. What do you think, how many more minerals do we have to find?