4.6 billion-year-old meteorite found in horseshoe footprint
A crumbling hunk of rock found in a field in England is a rare meteorite from the earliest days of the solar system, dating back about 4.6 billion years.
The meteorite was found in Gloucestershire in March by Derek Robson, a resident of Loughborough, England, and the director of astrochemistry at the East Anglian Astrophysical Research Organisation (EAARO). The meteorite was sitting in the imprint of a horseshoe left behind in a field, according to Loughborough University.
The space rock is a carbonaceous chondrite, a rare category that makes up only 4% to 5% of meteorites that are found on Earth. These meteorites hail from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and formed early in the history of the solar system. Intriguingly, they often contain organic, or carbon-bearing, compounds, including the amino acids that make up the basic building blocks of life. This raises questions about whether these meteorites hold clues to how living things first emerged in the solar system.
Related: The 7 strangest asteroids: Weird space rocks in our solar system
Unlike other space debris, this chunk …
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