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Unusual meteorite spotted by Australian observatory found

Last Updated: Saturday, November 7, 2009 - 19:13

London: An unusual meteorite that could reveal crucial information about the evolution of solar system has been found at the Nullabor Desert in Western Australia.
The cricket-ball sized meteorite -- Bunburra Rockhole -- is an unusual type of basaltic igneous rock with a different composition suggesting that it comes from an uncommon asteroid.

"The fact that this meteorite is compositionally unusual increases it`s value. It helps us to uncover more information about the conditions of the early solar system and how it was formed and evolved," said Gretchen Benedix, a mineral expert at Natural History Museum (NHM) in London.

Bunburra, which was tracked to the ground using the time-lapse images of fireballs recorded by a photographic observatory in Nullabor, follows an orbit different from that
of other meteorites.

The meteorite began its journey as part of an asteroid in the innermost main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Its orbit gradually evolved into one very similar to Earth`s.

Other meteorites for which data exist have orbits that take them into the main asteroid belt, the Natural History Museum reported.

Most meteorites found on Earth are believed to be fragments of asteroids - ancient rocks that formed during the creation of the solar system about 4.56 billion years ago.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, November 7, 2009 - 19:13
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