A rare meteorite 4.5 billion years old can hold the secrets of life on Earth

A rare meteorite 4.5 billion years old can hold the secrets of life on Earth

Thanks to funding from the Council of Science and Technology (STFC), scientists are ready to discover the secrets of the rare meteorite and perhaps the origin of the oceans and life.

Research on a meteorite that hit the UK earlier this year suggests that the space rock dates back 4.5 billion years to the beginning of the Solar System.

The meteorite is now officially classified as a result of STFC-funded studies of the model.

The Wincomb meteorite is named after the city of Gloucestershire, a very rare species known as carbonic concrete. It is a rocky meteorite full of water and organic matter. The solar system has retained its chemistry since its formation. The meteorological observatory has officially acknowledged that Winchcomb is a member of the CM (“Mige-like”) group of carbon dioxide.

STFC has provided an emergency grant to finance the work of planetary scientists in the UK. This funding allowed the Museum of Natural History to invest in state-of-the-art meteorite refining facilities and to support timely sensitive mineral and biological analysis in specialist laboratories at several top institutions in the UK.


Image of a fragment of the Winchcomb meteorite. Attribution: Curator of Natural History

A colleague of future leaders at UKRI in the Department of Geosciences at the Museum of Natural History. Ashley King said: “We are grateful for the funding provided by STFC. Winchcomb is the first meteorite to be discovered in the UK in the last 30 years and the first organic concrete to be discovered in our country. STFC funding facilitates this unique opportunity to discover the origin of water and life on Earth. Through the fund, we were able to invest in state-of-the-art equipment that has contributed to the analysis and research of the Winchcomb meteorite. ”

The meteorite was detected using images and video from the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFall) in collaboration with UK weather camera networks, including the UK-funded STB Fireball Network. The fragments were quickly found and recovered. After its discovery, scientists in Britain studied Winchecomb to understand the chemistry and chemistry of how the solar system was formed.

Dr. of the University of Glasgow. Luke Daily, co-chairman of the UK Fireball Network, said: “It’s a dream come true to be able to investigate Winchcomb. Many of us have spent our entire careers learning about this rare meteorite. We are participating in Jaxa’s Hayabusa 2 missions and NASA’s Osiris-Rex missions aimed at bringing back primitive samples of carbon asteroids to Earth. And a great opportunity for the UK Planetary Science community ”.

Funding from the STFC allowed scientists to quickly search for signs of water and biology in Wincombe.

Dr. at the Royal Holloway in London. Queen Chan added: “The team’s preliminary analysis confirms that Winchcomb contains a lot of organic matter! A few weeks after the fall, before there is a major pollution, learning about the meteorite means that we are actually looking back at the meteorite. We find the ingredients that existed at the birth of the Solar System and how they came together to form Earth-like planets. ”

A portion of the Winchcomb meteorite, discovered during research by the British Society for Planetary Sciences, is now on display in the Museum of Natural History in London.

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