What is Winchcombe Meteorite?

The National History Museum located in London is to display a piece of the meteorite that touched down the town of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire in the UK. The meteorite touched the UK soil in February 2021.

About the Meteorite

  • The Winchcombe meteorite is 103 grams in weight. It is a fragment of black rock resembling coal. It was founded by a team from University of Glasgow.
  • On February 28, 2021, around hundreds of people spotted a fireball blazing across the sky. The flash of light lasted for six seconds.

Significance

  • The meteorite is 4.5 billion years old. Thus, the meteorite is believed to give clues about the beginning of the solar system.
  • This meteorite is rare as it is a carbonaceous meteorite. Out of the 65,000 meteorite types known to mankind, only thousand are of this type.
  • The Winchcombe meteorite is similar to that retrieved by the Hayabusa 2 mission.

Carbonaceous meteorites

  • They contain high proportion of carbon which is up to 3%. The Allende meteorite is the largest carbonaceous meteorite found on the earth.
  • They contain silicates, sulphides, oxides and 3% to 22% of water. The presence of organic compounds in these meteorites say that they have not undergone heating since they were formed. Their compositions are close to the solar nebula. The solar system condensed from Solar Nebula.

Meteorites, Meteors and Meteoroid

The Meteoroids are objects that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids. When these meteoroids enter the earth atmosphere, they are called meteors. When the meteors hit the ground, they are called meteorites.

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