A meteorite has exploded in Antarctica about 4.30 million years ago. Evidence of this meteorite was discovered by scientists when parts were found inside the Antarctic ice sheet. Although not only capable of creating craters on Earth, cosmologists estimate that the meteorite fall was quite unusual.
Rarely do meteorites reach Earth and fall through the atmosphere. Most burns in the atmosphere. NASA has recorded 861 meteorites that have fallen into the atmosphere since 1988. Of these, the Chelyabinsk meteorite in 2013 and the Kamchatka meteorite in 2018 are considered to be the rarest meteorites of the century.
At the same time, the impact of a meteorite hitting Antarctica 4.30 million years ago will not be small. Especially if the meteorite falls in any of the densely populated cities. Such a meteorite fall has the potential to cause damage over an area of hundreds of kilometers. Cosmochemist Matthias van Ginken of the University of Kent says it could affect millions.
No craters in particular are created by such a meteorite fall. Therefore, it is not easy for scientists to identify parts of such a meteorite. Parts of the meteorite were found on the top of Mount Walnumgelet in eastern Antarctica. The challenge for the scientific community is to identify these dust particles. The largest of the millions of years old meteorite fragments found is only half a millimeter in size. Van Ginkenkan and his team identified this meteorite, which at first glance looks like a normal mantle, by subjecting it to electron microscopy.
Minerals such as iron, nickel and olivine were found in the meteorite. Their mineral composition was the same as that of meteorites belonging to the Pallasite class. With this, the scientific world comes to the conclusion that these mantras do not belong to the earth. The Antarctic ice sheet makes up only nine percent of the Earth’s surface. Therefore, the researchers decided to study what would happen if such meteorites fell to the ground, rock and ocean. Details of a study of a meteorite fall in Antarctica have been published in the journal Science Advances.
English Summary: Particles of a 430,000-year-old meteorite found hidden in Antarctic ice