Science

Published on October 8th, 2013

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First Ever Evidence of a Comet Striking Earth

The first ever evidence of a comet entering Earth’s atmosphere and exploding, raining down a shock wave of fire which obliterated every life form in its path, has been discovered by a team of South African scientists and international collaborators. Comet material is very elusive. Comet fragments have not been found on Earth before except as microscopic sized dust particles in the upper atmosphere and some carbon-rich dust in the Antarctic ice. Space agencies have spent billions to secure the smallest amounts of pristine comet matter. The discovery has not only provided the first definitive proof of a comet striking Earth, millions of years ago, but it could also help us to unlock, in the future, the secrets of the formation of our solar system.

At the center of the attention of this team was a mysterious black pebble found years earlier by an Egyptian geologist in the area of the silica glass. After conducting highly sophisticated chemical analyses on this pebble, the authors came to the inescapable conclusion that it represented the very first known hand specimen of a comet nucleus, rather than simply an unusual type of meteorite. The team have named the diamond-bearing pebble “Hypatia” in honour of the first well known female mathematician, astronomer and philosopher, Hypatia of Alexandria.

Source: Science Daily. Read full article. (link)

 

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