Sophie Lewis – CBS News
A small asteroid collided with Earth three years ago – now scientists know where it came from. Researchers have discovered the appearance of the resulting rare meteorite fragments, which began traveling to Earth about 23 million years ago.
Asteroid 2018 LA, shot across the sky a Fireball Before landing in Botswana on June 2, 2018. Researchers later recovered 23 meteorites from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, which is named for various wildlife species.
“The meteorite is named ‘Motobi Pan’ after a local irrigation hole,” said Mohutsiva Kapadirve, senior curator at the Botswana Institute of Earth Sciences. Report, Representing the first model they discovered. “This meteorite is Botswana’s national treasure.
Scientists first discovered the asteroid using the University of Arizona Catalina Sky Survey, Which monitors asteroids as part of NASA Planetary protection program. This marked the second time scientists had studied asteroids in space before reaching Earth – usually, they did not know about it after it happened.
At the time, the asteroid was estimated to be about 6 feet across – small enough to break safely in the Earth’s atmosphere. It has reached a speed of 38,000 miles per hour NASA.
“This is the second time we have seen an asteroid in space before it hit Earth,” Janiskens said. “Asteroid 2008 DC3 in Sudan for the first ten years.”
After accurately mapping the orbit of the rock-sized asteroid and the Earth, and analyzing models from the University of Helsinki, the researchers determined that they belonged to the group of Howardite-Euclidean-Diogenite (HED) meteorites. They published their findings in the journal Meteorite and planetary science.
This meteor group may have arrived Vesta, The second largest asteroid in our solar system, is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.
“Combining observations of small asteroids in space with data collected from meteorites shows that this may be the second largest asteroid in our solar system and NASA’s target Vesta. DAWN mission, ”Said Peter Jennyskens, a leading writer. “Billions of years ago, two major impacts on Vesta formed a family of large, dangerous asteroids. The newly recovered meteorites gave us a clue as to when those impacts might have occurred.”
Researchers now believe the Venetian plague formed about 4.2 billion years ago.
The researchers noticed a greater difference in the appearance of the meteorite than expected. They classified the asteroid as Prussia, a mixture of rock fragments from different parts of Vesta.
“We studied the petrography and mineral chemistry of these five meteorites and confirmed that they belonged to the HD group,” said co-author Roger Gibson. “Overall, we classified the asteroid 2018 LA as Howardite, but some individual fragments were more involved with diogenites and euclides.”
One-third of all HED meteorites coming to Earth were ejected from the asteroid about 22 million years ago.
Further research suggests that “even this meteorite has been in space as a tiny object for about 23 million years.” Berkeley’s Keys Weldon said, “But give or take 4 million years.”
Researchers say they are excited to uncover additional secrets surrounding the mysterious Vesta asteroid. A recent voyage, in November 2020, led researchers to discover another motoby bon meteorite – 2.3 ounces, the largest ever discovered.
Banner Image – Asteroid 2018 LA’s piece recovered from the Central Galahari Sports Reserve in Central Botswana. SETI INSTITUTE