June 18, 2024

Scientists claim to have found the first ‘meteorite to bounce off Earth’

2 min read
Scientists claim to have found the first ‘meteorite to bounce off Earth’

Earth’s rocks would have been thrown into space by an extreme event, and then returned to the planet in the form of a meteor

Louisa Costa

4 hours ago

Scientists claim to have found the first

Image: NASA/Ron Garan/Reproduction

Scientists discovered a 646-gram black stone in Morocco in 2018. The latest hypothesis about the origin and history of the rock is unusual, to say the least. Some experts claim that it is a “meteor boomerang”: a rock that would have been blasted from Earth into space and back to the planet.

The hypothesis comes from geophysicist Jérôme Gacheca, of the French National Center for Scientific Research, and colleagues, who foot Their findings on the alleged meteorite — named Northwest Africa (NWA) 13188 — were presented at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in Lyon, France.

Rocha would have made the journey for thousands of years


According to the team, the appearance and chemical composition of NWA 13188 indicates that it is the type of rock that is formed from lava spewed from the volcano. However, concentrations of helium, beryllium, and neon in rocks (much higher than in normal terrestrial rocks) correlate with exposure to abundant cosmic rays in space.

The team believes that the rock would have spent a few tens of thousands of years in space.

NWA 13188 weighs just over a pound and has abnormal concentrations of helium, beryllium, and neon in its chemical composition. Photo: Albert Gambon/Reproduce.

The stone also has a glassy crust, which could be evidence that it entered Earth’s atmosphere at a high speed (and temperature). “We consider NWA 13188 a meteorite that was launched from Earth and subsequently accumulated on its surface,” the researchers said. like Was that going to happen? Good question.


The researchers hypothesize that a volcanic eruption would have launched the rocks into space, causing them to fly off at tens of thousands of kilometers per hour. But it could also be the result of another meteorite hitting Earth – large enough to catapult rocks from here into space.

Some researchers, such as planetary scientist Philip Clays, for example, question these alleged origins of the mysterious rock. he He said the new world: “When you claim extraordinary hypotheses, you need extraordinary evidence to support them. I am still not convinced.”


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