Imagine walking through a park or a field in a normal walk without knowing that some of the rocks around you are not like any other. Instead, they’re fragments of meteorites that have traveled thousands of miles through the vacuum of space to end up traversing the atmosphere and landing on our planet without anyone noticing.
Gloucestershire in the U.K. is precisely a place where this has happened. A fragment of rock was collected from the site and when analyzed the scientists were able to conclude that it was indeed a meteorite. This space rock has been referred to as the Winchcombe meteorite.
However, scientists have been intrigued by the shape and chemical composition of this meteorite so they have conducted more in-depth studies to analyze it.
“The internal structure is fragile and loosely bound, porous with fissures and cracks,” said microscopist Shaun Fowler of Loughborough University in the UK.
The analyzes have yielded the result that this meteorite has not undergone thermal metamorphism which would imply that it has been floating in space without any type of gravitational disturbance or collision with another object since before any of the planets were even formed. This rock presents an opportunity to examine the primordial solar system.
4.6 Billion-Year-Old Meteorite Found In The U.K.
Scientists concluded that this fragment is the same age as the solar system, around 4.6 billion years old, which means that it is the product and direct witness of the same cloud of gas and dust that formed the sun and the planets.
It is the first meteorite collected in England in the last 30 years and it is really a special one because it is not just any meteorite. It is a carbonaceous chondrite composed mainly of carbon and silicon, materials that are more prone to disintegrate in our atmosphere.
All its characteristics make the finding be classified increasingly as more and more unlikely but as it did happened scientists are excited to continue analyzing it and keep on discovering the mysteries of the universe.