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Meteorite study indicates volcanic activity on early small asteroids

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Posted August 22, 2014
meteorite
The Almahata Sitta meteorite number 15 in-situ on the desert floor during its find on 2008 December 8, much as it fell on October 7 earlier that year. Credit: P. Jenniskens, SETI Institute

Examination of one of the Almahata Sitta meteorites (aka, ALM-A, found in Sudan in 2008) by a team of space scientists working in Germany has revealed a volcanic past. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they dated the meteorite to just a few million years after our solar system was born and uncovered evidence that it suggests it was produced by volcanic activity.

The meteorite is but one of a collection that came from 2008 TC3, the first  to ever have its collision with Earth tracked by scientists. When it exploded over the Nubian Desert, debris was scattered over many kilometers—over 600 meteorites from it have been found thus far. In this latest effort, the researchers focused on ALM-A, studying it using optical and electron microscopy—they found the rock contained minerals that were rich in a kind of silica that to date has been found to only be producible by certain types of explosions or volcanic action.

Read more at: Phys.org

 

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