Amsterdam, Jun 29 – Dutch scientists celebrated the rare discovery of meteorite in The Netherlands, which at 4.5-billion years old may hold clues to the birth of our solar system.
‘Meteorites are very special because we do not have rocks of this age on earth,’ said geologist Leo Kriegsman from the Naturalis biodiversity centre in Leiden in a YouTube video marking the occasion.
The fist-sized meteorite, weighing about 500 grammes (one pound), crashed through the roof of a shed in the small town of Broek in Waterland, just north of Amsterdam, in January probably travelling at the speed of a high-velocity train.
It was discovered the next morning by the residents under a broken pile of wood from the roof, but despite an extensive search, no other fragments have been found in the area.
This is only the sixth meteorite found in the past 200 years in The Netherlands, and the last such find dates back to 1990. So Kriegsman said it was ‘very exciting’ when the home-owners contacted them about their find.
‘We can learn from it what happened in the very beginning of the solar system when you had a stellar cloud that collapsed and minerals started to form, when planetoids started to form for the very first time,’ said Kriegsman.
‘So it gives us information on what happened at the very beginning when the Earth was formed.’
He estimated that the meteorite probably came from the region between Mars and Jupiter where there is a large asteroid belt with ‘a lot of rocks and small planets’ flying around which sometimes fall out of their orbit. (Prensa Latina)