Winchcombe meteorite gets official classification, here is all you need to know

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jul 09, 2021, 10:57 AM(IST)

One of the fragments of meteorite recovered from Winchcombe. (Picture courtesy: Trustees of the Natural History Museum) Photograph:( Others )

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As per UK scientists, the object dates back to the very beginning of the Solar System, some 4.6 billion years ago

The rocky material that fell to Earth in a fireball over the Cotswold town of Winchcombe in February has had its classification formally accepted.

As per UK scientists, the object dates back to the very beginning of the Solar System, some 4.6 billion years ago.

It is now being deemed as extremely valuable. 

As per the formal classification, it was concluded that that the dark grey-to-black material picked up in Gloucestershire earlier this year is now absolutely recognised as being meteoritic in nature. The term "Winchcombe" is used to describe it.

It is mostly made up of phyllosilicates, or clays. The H2O is bound up in those minerals.

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The theory holds that a bombardment of the parent asteroids of meteorites like Winchcombe could have delivered much of the H20 we now see in our oceans.

Researchers, led by London's Natural History Museum (NHM), say the meteorite, which comprises 548g of small stones and powder, is a member of the CM2 carbonaceous chondrites.

Also, it is said to be "Mighei-like", which is a reference to a particular type specimen, or standard, of meteorite that was found in Ukraine in the late 19th Century.

NHM's Dr Ashley King, was quoted by BBC saying, "Carbonaceous chondrites are probably the oldest and most primitive extra-terrestrial materials we have available to study".

He added, "They come from asteroids that formed right back at the start of our Solar System. They're like time capsules. They're telling us about the building blocks of our Solar System. Obviously, we weren't there 4.6 billion years ago, and these meteorites are a way for us to actually see what sort of materials were there, and how those materials started to come together to make the planets".

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