[meteorite-list] `Gujarat meteors among oldest bodies in solar system`

From: Darren Garrison <cynapse_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri Sep 29 12:20:11 2006
Message-ID: <urhqh29tv77usfuskdvl04o1r54fal2kgh_at_4ax.com>


Ahmedabad, Sept 29: When scores of people in Gujarat saw glowing fireballs
falling from the sky in July this year little did they realise that these
fragments from outer space were one of the "oldest bodies found in our solar

Scientists at Physicial Research Laboratory (PRL) studying the meteor samples
that fell in different areas of Kutch and Saurashtra are thrilled with the
"discovery of a rare chondrule inside one of the fragments of the meteorite
known as a Chondritre Meteorite in scientific terminology".

"Chondrules are small spherical ball like formations that are found inside a
Chondrite Meteor. They are very rare to find and are believed to have been
formed around two million years after our sun was formed", PRL director Dr J N
Goswami said.

"Scientists are excited with the find as it will give a great opportunity to
study how our solar system originated and developed over a period of time," he

Chondrites are stony meteorites that have not been modified due to melting or
differentiation of the parent body. They were formed when various types of dust
and small grains that were present in the early solar system came together to
form primitive asteroids.

Though Chondrites are a common type of meteor that crash into the earth every
year, the discovery of a chondrule inside a small sample piece of the meteorite
will help in collecting data about the composition of meteors, Goswami said.

The meteor shower took all by surprise when it streaked across the dark night
creating a boom as it fell on fields, making a gaping hole though some roof

According to scientists, the solar system was formed around 15 billion years ago
and the sun was 4.5 billion years old.

"Study of meteorites has indicated that chondrules began forming two million
years after the sun was born. These untouched particles were formed out of
various gases and star dust in space that hardened over the years and got
adjoined with meteors as they brushed against each other or collided," Goswami

The PRL is expecting some more and bigger samples of the latest meteor shower in
Gujarat and that they would be able to conduct detailed tests to know more about
their content only once they are handed over for scientific examination, he

If the chondrule inside a Chondrite Meteor was studied deeper then the various
gases present inside could be detected, he said.

"We do know that the meteor was travelling from north to south. However, we are
yet to study the velocity with which they entered the earth`s atmosphere", he

Most chondrules, which is a prominent component in Chondrites are rich in
silicate minerals, olivine and pyroxene. another scientist said that the study
of meteors that crash land into the earth also helps scientists plan a man made
satellite`s rotation or revolution around a certain planet as the journey path
and past of meteors can be a valuable study for future space explorations.

As of now, all the large pieces of the Chondrite Meteor that fell in Gujarat are
with the Geological Survey of India (GSI) at its Gandhinagar office.

India witnesses several meteor showers annually and a meteor shower at Rajasthan
on August 29 has also exited scientists as a meteor that belonged to the
asteriod belt between jupiter and mars came into their hands.

Over the past several years samples of over 100 meteorites that streaked its way
into the earth`s atmosphere have been collected from across the country by the
Received on Fri 29 Sep 2006 12:19:53 PM PDT

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