A unique find: Inside the meteorite fell to Earth comet fragments found

American scientists have found traces of primary rocks which formed the planets of the solar system in a very unexpected place - inside one of the meteorites that fell to the south pole of the Earth in the recent past. Through the analysis of findings, the researchers put the slice of the meteorite under a microscope and found inside a miniature dark inclusions (size 0, 1 mm) incomprehensible nature, contain a record large amounts of organic and volatile substances, including sugars and ketones. It turned out that within the stone space is comet embryo. About his unique discovery the researchers report in an article published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

A unique find: Inside the meteorite fell to Earth comet fragments found

According to the research team, led by Larry Nittlera of the Carnegie Institute for Science in Washington, DC (USA), the asteroid served as a kind of protective capsule, inside which are preserved "germ" of comets and the grain of the primary matter of the solar system. She helped them to survive the journey through the Earth's atmosphere. Scientists are very excited this finding, because now they have a sample of matter, which would never have got here by itself.

To make it clearer why the find is unique, to clarify a couple of points. Meteorites - a small celestial bodies, which have already fallen on the Earth's surface. Previously, they could be part of the asteroid - other larger solid celestial bodies wandering around our solar system from the moment of its formation and as a result, do not become part of the planets or comets - they are similar to asteroids, but contain volatile chemical elements that are exposed to sunlight It evaporates from the surface of the celestial body, creating the so-called "someone" - tail. On Earth, these objects will never fall (fortunately). But scientists are very interested in that of which they are composed. Through isotopic composition of the sample analysis meteorite LAP 02,342 found in Antarctica scientists discovered atypical proportion of heavy oxygen, deuterium and nitrogen-15 does not coincide with any other small bodies of the solar system, or the sun, or planets. As the researchers note, none of the scientists had not previously been found in meteorites, however, faced with a similar composition of matter, exploring other celestial bodies in the cosmos itself. In particular, the researchers note, the comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as well as samples of matter, trapped in the solar system from interstellar space. A similar structure is believed to planetary scientists, it had a protoplanetary nebula, where was born the Sun, the Earth and all the other planets.

A unique find: Inside the meteorite fell to Earth comet fragments found

According to the authors article in Nature Astronomy, this dust can get inside an asteroid in the distant past, about 3 million years after the birth of our sun. During this period, cosmic dust was connected and form larger stones that would become the nuclei of comets and asteroids. Periodically, these objects collide, sometimes leading to their "merger", and in other cases - to mutual destruction. Nittler with the team say that the traces of one of the oldest of such collisions, which occurred about 4, 4 billion years ago, are being found in the meteorite LAP 02 342 samples. Recall that at the moment some of the world space agencies carry out space missions aimed at sampling ancient fabric of the solar system. For example, using spacecraft OSIRIS-REx space agency NASA is trying to get the asteroid dust samples Bennu. A Japanese spacecraft "Hayabusa-2" is currently collects soil Ryugu asteroid samples. In both cases, the samples were scheduled to deliver back to Earth for analysis, but the discovery of scientists from the Carnegie Institute for Science in Washington, allows to do this today, without waiting for the return of the American and Japanese missions.

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