Today's rare meteorites were once common

Mon, 01/23/2017 - 13:17 -- pheck

Four hundred and sixty-six million years ago, there was a giant collision in outer space. Something hit an asteroid and broke it apart, sending chunks of rock falling to Earth as meteorites since before the time of the dinosaurs. But what kinds of meteorites were making their way to Earth before that collision? In a new study in Nature Astronomy, scientists from the Field Museum, Lund University in Sweden and other institutions in the US and Russia have tackled that question by creating the first reconstruction of the distribution of meteorite types before the collision. They discovered that most of the meteorites we see today are, in the grand scheme of things, rare, while many meteorites that are rare today were common before the collision.

The story was picked up by several prominent news sites including the New York Times, Washington Post, Space.com, Forbes, Popular Science. Read also Phys.org and our Science Newsflash.

Co-author Fredrik Terfelt collecting rocks for this study at Lynna River in Russia. Photo Credit: © B. Schmitz.