Scientists have revealed the secret behind the origin of the Chelyabinsk meteorite

For ordinary people, asteroids are space rocks that in unfortunate circumstances can collide with the earth and cause the doom of the world. And for scientists, the objects that can tell are very interesting about the origin of planets and other cosmic bodies. In fact, most of the asteroids were formed billions of years ago and still bear traces of events that occurred in antiquity. In February 2013, a meteorite fell on Chelyabinsk territory, breaking into 53 fragments. The other day, a group of researchers from the UK and China shared the results of studying one of these fragments. According to them, the Chelyabinsk meteorite was formed about 4.5 billion years ago as a result of a collision that caused the formation of the moon.

The moment of the fall of the Chelyabinsk meteorite

Интересный факт: падение Челябинского метеорита доказало, что даже очень маленькие космические объекты могут нести большую опасность. Это событие стало причиной того, что ученые начали тщательно следить за движением потенциально опасных астероидов и других «непрошенных гостей».

Functions of the Chelyabinsk meteorite

According to experts from NASA’s space agency, the diameter of the Chelyabinsk meteorite was 15 meters. In the case of falls, the speed of its movement varied from 20 to 70 kilometers per second. Even such a relatively small meteorite caused an explosion with a capacity of 470 kilotons of TNT. At the same time, smaller particles were scattered from the space object. The meteorite’s fall caused damage to many buildings and about 2,000 people were injured. Subsequently, some fragments of the meteorite were discovered by humans, while others ended up in laboratories for careful study.

Fragment of the Chelyabinsk meteorite

How did the Chelyabinsk meteorite form?

Recently, British and Chinese scientists studied the Chelyabinsk meteorite using technology that allows us to determine the exact age of space objects at the microscopic level. In particular, the authors of the scientific work were interested in the phosphate minerals of the meteorite – their crystal structures have undergone severe changes under the influence of heating during various collisions. It turned out that the Chelyabinsk meteorite survived two collisions before falling to the ground.

Before falling to Earth, the Chelyabinsk meteorite survived two collisions

The Chelyabinsk meteorite first experienced a collision 4.5 billion years ago, at the time of the solar system’s emergence. The first blow was quite powerful. This is indicated at least by the fact that the phosphate minerals were broken into small pieces.

The Chelyabinsk meteorite received its first blow during the formation of the solar system

The second time, the space object has undergone a collision about 50 million years ago. This blow was noticeably weaker. It is believed that there was already life on earth at that time. For example, archbuses lived on our planet – a long-extinct species of primate, whose body length was only about 7 centimeters. Artists portray them as creatures that were not much bigger than bees and other insects.

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What did the moon look like?

According to scientists, the Chelyabinsk meteorite formed at the same time as the hypothetical planet Theia collided with Earth. It is believed that this planet was comparable in size to modern Mars. She collided with our planet on a key, but it was enough for their nuclei to merge. At the same time, particles of the mantle were thrown into space, where the moon was formed by them. Based on all this, scientists suggest that the Chelyabinsk meteorite may be a very distant relative of the Earth’s satellite. If this is true, in 2013 we observed an amazing phenomenon where an object lost in space billions of years ago rumbled back to Earth.

It is believed that the moon was formed as a result of the Earth’s collision with another large object.

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Meteorites that fall to the ground are very common. But scientists fear that one day a large asteroid will fall on our planet, which will cause a global catastrophe. To prevent disasters, scientists are trying to develop technologies to protect against asteroids. I recently talked about how China decided to make huge satellites to destroy potentially dangerous space objects. If you are interested, you can read the details at this link.

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