Magnificent Rare Meteorite Seen Blazing Across Night Sky in UK May Contain 'Building Blocks Of Life'
The meteorite was spotted blazing across the night sky in the western part of the U.K. on Feb. 28.
Fragments from a meteorite described by scientists as “incredibly rare” landed in the driveway of a home in the U.K. The exciting discovery will now give scientists a look into what the solar system looked like as it was forming some 4.6 billion years ago, the National History Museum of London reported
The meteorite was spotted blazing across the night sky in the western part of the U.K. on Feb. 28. It lasted about six seconds. The bright flash of light was reported by hundreds of people, who watched in awe, recording it on their doorbell cameras and car dashcams, according to the museum.
Experts explain that meteorites are fragments that have broken away when two asteroids collide. A small proportion of meteorites also come from the Moon and Mars, the museum website explained. Meteorites from the Moon are older than 2.5 billion years, and meteorites from Mars may be as young as 165 million years, according to the museum’s site.
Scientists told CBS News that these meteorites may contain the “building blocks of life."
This type of meteorite that fell late last month is known as a carbonaceous chondrite and weighed 10.6 ounces.
'There are about 65,000 known meteorites in the entire world, and of those only 51 of them are carbonaceous chondrites that have been seen to fall like this one,” museum researcher Prof. Sara Russell said in a statement. "There are about 65,000 known meteorites in the entire world, and of those only 51 of them are carbonaceous chondrites that have been seen to fall like this one."
Russell called the experience “mind-blowingly amazing, because we are working on the asteroid sample return space missions Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx, and this material looks exactly like the material they are collecting," Russell said. "I am just speechless with excitement."
The museum has named it the Winchcombe meteorite after the Gloucestershire town, Winchcombe it landed in.
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