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Business News/ Science / News/  Asteroid 2024 BX1 fragments that exploded over Germany confirmed to be 'as old as solar system itself’: Report
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Asteroid 2024 BX1 fragments that exploded over Germany confirmed to be 'as old as solar system itself’: Report

Scientists have confirmed that the asteroid that exploded over Germany on 21 January is a rare type that could provide insights into Earth's origins.

Scientists have confirmed that the asteroid that exploded over Germany on 21 January is a rare type that could provide insights into Earth's origins (Image for representation)Premium
Scientists have confirmed that the asteroid that exploded over Germany on 21 January is a rare type that could provide insights into Earth's origins (Image for representation)

Scientist have confirmed that asteroid that had exploded over Germany on 21 January to be a rare space rock type that could hold the key to understanding Earth's origins, Space.com has reported. As per the report, scientist also said that the fragments of asteroid 2024 BX1 were discovered just five days after the explosion. They further suggested that meteorite fragments might belong to the rare category known as aubrites. 

There had only been 11 instances of aubrite meteorite falls on Earth prior to this, according to SETI Institute meteor scientist Peter Jenniskens who was a member of the team that discovered some of the meteorites told Space.com. The extremely uncommon samples are from a family of meteorites that make up only 1% of all known meteorites, he said as reported by Space.com.

Speaking on the source of the meteorites, Jenniskens said, "The interesting thing about this fall is, we have a very nice orbit of it, and so the shape of the orbit itself contains clues as to where the source region for these meteorites was," as quoted by the daily. He further added that, “They likely came from the inner side of the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter."

"That's a place where probably there is a lot of debris, a collision that created a lot of smaller pieces called an asteroid family," he said as quoted by Space.com.

The report further spoke on BX1 formation and said that the main belt asteroids such as 2024 BX1 was formed about 4.5 billion years ago, roughly the same period as the planets in the solar system. They were formed from material around the infant sun was spared during planet formation.

According to Jenniskens, as aubrites, these meteorites share many characteristics with Earth including water ratio and the ratio of other chemicals, the report added. The report also indicated that the size detected was no bigger than 1-meter wide and also could be one of the smallest space rocks ever detected before it hit Earth.

Meanwhile, in another report, Earth was also to witness a series of asteroids fly pasts in the week starting 29 January. According to news media reports, of the five asteroids likely to brush past Earth, one will be the size of a “FIFA-accredited stadium". The largest of the five, Asteroid 2008 OS7, was first spotted in 2008 by NASA. It was suppose to zoom past Earth on 2 February, at a distance of 1.77 million miles, which is relatively close in cosmic terms.

(With inputs from Space.com)

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Published: 08 Feb 2024, 01:39 PM IST
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