New Type Of Meteorite Discovered In Swedish Quarry

Posted: Jun 16 2016, 1:29am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 16 2016, 9:39am CDT, in News | Latest Science News


A Completely New Type of Meteorite Discovered in Swedish Quarry
Credit: Birger Schmitz

Scientists have found a never-before-seen alien rock in a limestone quarry in Sweden. The meteorite remnant is estimated to be 470 million years old.

A mysterious alien rock has been unearthed in a limestone quarry in Sweden and scientists claim it may be the first of its kind because this type of rock has not been found elsewhere in the Earth. 

The black colored meteorite is embedded in a rock from a Swedish quarry. It is believed to be a part of an extraterrestrial object that might have been destroyed a long time ago and remnants of which rained down on Earth. The remnant dropped down on the quarry was one of those which remained buried there for almost 470 million years.

“In our entire civilization, we have collected over 50,000 meteorites, and no one has seen anything like this one before,” said study co-author Qing-zhu Yin from UC Davis. “Discovering a new type of meteorite is very, very exciting.”


Dubbed Oest 65, the meteorite is just 4 inches wide with no specific shape and is discovered in a quarry known for yielding meteorite fragments. Previously, around 100 alien remnants in the form of L chondrites have been found here.

L chondrites is the most common type of meteorite. Now finding another type of meteorite indicates that it must have been a result of massive collision between two asteroids. One is expected to be a bigger chondrite body, about 100 to 150 kilometers across which likely released a huge cluster of rocky debris in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter after the collision, some of which fall into the Earth's atmosphere. The identity of other object that it smashed into has been a mystery. 

The isotopic analysis of the meteorite suggests that it is chemically distinct from all known types of meteorite.

“The object contains very high concentrations (compared to Earth materials), of elements such as iridium, which is very rare on Earth,” said co-author Birger Schmitz of Lund University.

“The meteorite also contains high concentrations of rare isotopes of the element Neon.”

With data analysis of cosmic radiation in the meteorite, researchers figured out how long it travelled in space before falling to Earth. The timeline appears to be same the other type of meteorite crashed to Earth. 

“Our meteorite fell 470 million years ago," said Schmitz—more or less the same period as the chondrite fragments.”

These millions of years old meteorites fragments have opened up a new avenue for understanding the diversities and complexities of the universe and they may also shed light on the formation and evolution of our solar system. 


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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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