A semi-molten piece of iron-rich rock found in Uppsala, Sweden is part of a meteorite that fell there in November 2020.
The bumpy meteorite is about the size of a loaf of bread and weighs about 14 pounds, according to the Swedish Natural History Museum. It used to be part of a larger space rock, probably weighing more than 9 tons (8.1 metric tons), that created a dramatic fireball above Uppsala on 7 November.
After that impact, scientists from the Swedish Museum of Natural History calculated the probable landing site and found some small fragments of an iron meteorite near the village of Ådalen, according to the museum statement. The fragments were only about 3 millimeters long, but the investigation found both the stone and the root of the tree, which was apparently hit by something heavy.
Stockholm geologists Andreas Forsberg and Anders Zetterqvist returned to the site and found a much larger piece – probably the one that smashed the rock. The piece was about 70 meters away from the area where the fragments were found, partially covered with moss. One side was flattened and cracked, probably from a collision, and the meteorite was marked by circular depressions. According to the museum, these depressions are common in iron meteorites, and occur when a space rock partially melts as it passes through the atmosphere.
“This is the first sure example of a newly fallen iron meteorite in our country,” said Swedish Natural History Museum curator Dan Holtstam. It is also the first time that any fragments of meteorites associated with the observed fireball have been found in Sweden for 66 years.
“Since we now know it’s an iron meteorite, it’s possible to fine-tune simulations of meteorite falls,” Uppsala University astronomer Eric Stempels said in a statement. It is very likely that the meteorite that has now been found is the largest existing piece after the original space rock weighing about 9 tons. A few smaller pieces are probably left in the area. “
Iron meteorites are the second most common type of meteorite that earth on Earth, after the stone meteorites. They originate from the nuclei of planets and asteroids, meaning they may contain traces of formation Solar system.
It has been discovered that there are some meteorites rich in iron minerals not seen on Earth. Other types of meteorites contain complex organic compounds, perhaps hinting at how the building blocks of life originally landed on this planet.
Originally posted on Live Science.