A ball of fire that happened on 28 February lit the skies over Great Britain and Northern Europe was an extremely rare type of meteorite

Fragments of space rock discovered on a driveway in the Cotswolds could provide answers to questions about the early history of the solar system and life on Earth

Nearly 300 g of the meteorite was collected in the small town of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, by scientists who say the rock is made of carbonaceous chondrite

The substance is one of the most primitive and untouched materials in the solar system and is known to contain organic material and amino acids – the ingredients for life

The Natural History Museum in London said the fragments were found in such good condition and so quickly after the meteorite fell they were comparable in quality and quantity to rock samples returned from space missions

“I was shocked when I saw it and knew immediately that it was a rare meteorite and a completely unique event,” said Richard Greenwood, a research fellow in planetary science at the Open University who became the first scientist the identified meteorite

“It’s emotional to be the first to confirm to the people in front of you that the bang they heard in their driveway overnight was indeed the real one”

The fireball was seen by thousands of eyewitnesses across the UK and Northern Europe and was captured while being monitored at home and other cameras when it fell to Earth at 9 a.m. on Aug. February at 54 p.m. GMT

The original space rock moved at nearly 14 km / s before hitting Earth’s atmosphere and finally landing on a driveway in Winchcombe

Footage of the fireball, captured by members of the public and camera networks of the UK’s Fireball Alliance, helped locate the meteorite and pinpoint exactly where it came from in the solar system, according to the museum

“Almost all meteorites come to us from asteroids, the leftover building blocks of the solar system that can tell us how planets like Earth were formed,” said Ashley King of the Natural History Museum’s Department of Earth Sciences

“The opportunity to be one of the first to see and study a meteorite that was recovered almost immediately after the fall is a dream come true”

They typically travel through space for many thousands of years before being captured, usually by the sun, but occasionally also by the earth, according to the museum

As these cosmic objects move through the atmosphere, they sometimes create a bright ball of fire before landing on Earth, as did this meteorite

The space rock, according to the museum, resembled the sample recently brought back to Earth from space by the Japanese Hayabusa2 mission, which returned about 5.4 grams of fragments from the asteroid Ryugu, according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

According to the museum, other fragments of the meteorite could be discovered, which could be found as black stones, piles of tiny stones, or even dust

UK News

World news – AU – Rare meteorite that landed on a household’s driveway may contain “ingredients for life”

Source: https://7news.com.au/technology/space/rare-meteorite-that-landed-on-cotswolds-driveway-in-uk-could-contain-ingredients-of-life-c-2317116