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Home / Science / When the meteorite exploded in the air, it produced particles unearthed in Antarctica.

When the meteorite exploded in the air, it produced particles unearthed in Antarctica.



A new study shows that an ancient meteorite exploded in the air 430,000 years ago, leaving unusual particles of matter in the mountains of Antarctica.

An international team of space scientists led by Kent University studied the “extraterrestrial particles” recovered from the summit of Walnumfjellet in Sør Rondane, Queens District, Antarctica.

Hundreds of years ago, a 330-foot asteroid exploded near the frozen surface of Antarctica, depositing blocks of vaporized rock.

These findings may help scientists determine the effects of past “explosions” and prepare for future shocks, which may cause severe damage if they occur in densely populated areas.

A new study shows that an ancient meteorite exploded in the air 430,000 years ago, leaving unusual particles of matter in the mountains of Antarctica.

A new study shows that an ancient meteorite exploded in the air 430,000 years ago, leaving unusual particles of matter in the mountains of Antarctica.

Impact event: space rock explosion releasing huge energy

An impact event is when a space rock collides with the earth, or explodes in the atmosphere above or below it.

The impact of crater formation can have major consequences.

Including the Chicxulub incident that killed dinosaurs 66 million years ago.

The Tunguska incident was a large-scale explosion in Russia in a sparsely populated area of ​​Siberia in 1908.

It flattened 80 million trees, but left no impact craters.

It is believed that it disintegrated six miles above the ground.

It is estimated that a large explosion occurs when asteroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere and explode in mid-air, at a higher rate than impacts that form craters.

However, due to the challenges of identifying and characterizing the long-distance residues of exploded meteorites, large explosions are usually identified by witnesses rather than evidence in the geological record.

In order to piece together the mystery of an ancient meteorite event that may strike Antarctica without leaving a trace, the study authors studied tiny particles.

Matthias Van Ginneken and colleagues used microscope and laser technology to analyze 17 black spherical igneous particles collected from Walnumfjellet.

They determined that the size of the particles is usually between 100 and 300 microns, mainly composed of olivine and spinel minerals, and welded together with a small amount of glass.

The chemical properties of these particles, including high nickel content, indicate that they originated in outer space.

They also compared these particles with those found in other ice cores, which recorded meteorite events in Antarctica 430,000 and 480,000 years ago.

The similarities observed by the team indicate that these particles were produced by a single asteroid impact approximately 430,000 years ago.

An international team of space scientists led by the University of Kent studied the

An international team of space scientists led by the University of Kent studied the “extraterrestrial particles” recovered from the top of the Walnam Geller Mountain in the Sal Rondane Mountains, Queen of the Land of Antarctica.

They combined numerical simulations with the low oxygen 18 isotope content observed in the particles to determine its origin.

Ginneken pointed out that the crater unrelated to the event concluded that these particles reached the ice sheet through a jet of projectile vapor released by the exploding meteorite, which may be between 330 feet and 500 feet in diameter.

This explosion is described as an intermediate explosion because it is larger than the explosion and exploded at high altitude, but smaller than the impact crater.

Vaporized space rock particles are produced by asteroids at least 330 feet in size entering from the atmosphere and exploding near the surface at high speed.

The vaporized space rock particles are produced by asteroids at least 330 feet in size entering from the atmosphere and exploding near the surface at high speed

The Chelyabinsk incident: the biggest meteor strike in a century

After the Tunguska incident in 1908, the meteor that swept the southern Ural Mountains in February 2013 was the largest meteor strike ever.

The shock wave of the explosion injured more than 1,600 people. It is estimated that when it landed near the city of Chelyabinsk, it exploded as much as 20 Hiroshima atomic bombs.

The 18-meter-wide fireball whizzed into the earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 41,600 mph.

Most of the meteors landed in a local lake called Chebarkul.

The results of the investigation showed that compared with the Tunguska and Chelyabinsk incidents that occurred in Russia in 1908 and 2013, this incident caused more harm.

This research published by “Science Advances” provides important discoveries to the geological record, but there is very little evidence for such events. .

This study emphasizes the importance of reassessing the threat of medium-sized asteroids, because similar landing events may produce similar particles.

The team warned that such an event would completely destructive changes over a large area, equivalent to the interaction area between the thermal jet and the ground.

Kinniken said: “In order to complete the record of asteroid impacts, we suggest that future research should focus on identifying similar events on different targets.”

These targets include rocky or shallow sea basements, because the Antarctic ice sheet covers only 9% of the earth’s land surface.

He added: “Our research may also help identify these events in the core of deep-sea sediments. If the plume expands to reach land, the sedimentary record is also useful.”

They warned that while a ground contact event might not threaten human activity if it happened on Antarctica, it could cause millions of casualties and hundreds of miles of serious damage if it happened over a densely populated area.

The discovery has been published in the journal “Science Advances”.

Explanation: the difference between asteroids, meteorites and other space rocks

One Asteroid It is a large piece of rock left over from a collision or early solar system. Most of them are located between Jupiter and Jupiter in the main belt of Mars.

One comet It is a rock covered with ice, methane and other compounds. Their orbits take them farther from the solar system.

One meteor When the debris burns, astronomers call it a flash in the atmosphere.

This fragment itself is called Meteoroid. Most are too small, they are vaporized in the atmosphere.

If any meteoroid reaches the earth, it is called a meteoroid Meteorite.

Meteors, meteoroids and meteorites usually originate from asteroids and comets.

For example, if the earth passes through the tail of a comet, many fragments will burn in the atmosphere to form a meteor shower.


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