Scientists studying meteorite fragments have found evidence that the meteorite is from a previously unknown asteroid and may be as large as the dwarf planet Ceres. The meteorite Almahata Sitta (AhS) fell to Earth in 2008, and researchers studied its composition to understand the origin of the asteroid.
A meteorite is the name of a piece of debris that fell on the earth, one of which comes from an asteroid, which is a small object orbiting the sun. Asteroids are usually much smaller than planets and most commonly gather in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars. In this asteroid belt, the largest known celestial body is the dwarf planet called Ceres.
Now, new evidence suggests that another asteroid as large as Ceres may exist elsewhere in the solar system.
Researchers at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) looked at a small meteorite AhS sample to understand its source. The first author of the paper, Dr. Vicky Hamilton, explained in a statement: “We were assigned 50 mg of AhS sample for research.” “We installed and polished small fragments and used an infrared microscope. The composition was checked. Spectroscopic analysis identified a series of hydrated minerals, especially amphibole, which indicated an extended period of water alteration at intermediate temperatures and pressures and at least 400 miles (to 1
This means that the asteroid from which the sample originated must be large and formed in the presence of water. It is difficult to find mineral amphibole in this type of meteorite called carbonaceous chondrite (CC) meteorite, which makes AhS an unusual specimen and is particularly useful for understanding the early solar system.
Through research on two recently visited asteroids, Ryugu and Bennu, we may learn more about the early solar system. Japan’s Hayabusa 2 visited Ryugu, the company recently sent samples back to Earth, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx visited Bennu, and the product should return samples in 2023.
These samples were collected directly from asteroids and may be different from samples like AhS that fell to the earth and were affected by its passage through the atmosphere.
“If the composition of Hayabusa2 and OSIRIS-REx samples is different from what we collected in meteorites, it may mean that their physical properties prevent them from being spared at least through the ejection, transition and entry process of the Earth’s atmosphere in their initial geological background. Down,” Hamilton said. “However, we believe that there are more carbonaceous chondrite materials in the solar system than our collection of meteorites represents.”
The research results were published in the journal Nature.