4.6 billion year old meteorite found in Sahara desert
Scientists are still trying to figure out how a 4.6 billion year old meteorite ended up in the Sahara Desert. The rock was discovered in May 2020 in the middle of the Sahara in Adar Algeria. Since its discovery, the rock has been the subject of careful study and examination to help scientists piece together the history of the universe.
Continue reading below
Our featured videos
In a study published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), scientists described the appearance, nature and composition of the rock named Erg Chech 002 (aka EC 002). The rock is described as having a coarse weathered appearance. The rock is also decorated with yellow-green and yellow-brown crystals throughout. The rock has a unique composition that intrigues even scientists who have worked on it.
Related: New technology harnesses atmospheric water in deserts
The study shows that the rock contains a sufficient amount of andesite, a volcanic rock found only on planet Earth. Andesite forms when tectonic plates collide. This compound makes the recently discovered rock distinctly different from the basalt meteorites that are common on our planet.
According to scientists, EC 002 was once molten, however, the fact that the rock must have formed more than 4.565 billion years ago raises more questions. For a long time it was generally accepted in the scientific community that the Earth was formed 4.543 billion years ago.
Scientists say that understanding the rock is quite difficult, given that there are not many similar formations on earth. However, they say it provides a lot of information about the formation of the earth and the entire universe as a whole.
Scientists now believe the rock may have formed when protoplanets broke up. The protoplanet theory is one of many theories advanced to explain the formation of our planet. In fact, most of the theories that try to address the question of planetary formation refer to the theory of protoplanets.
According to the researchers, the rock provides clues to what might have happened to the protoplanets. They say that the protoplanets could have been destroyed before the formation of the planetary system. On the other hand, there are those who suggest that the protoplanets may have merged with other planets. Either way, that leaves more secrets of the universe to uncover.
Going through Grunge
Main image via Pexels