Geology news: Meteorite older than Earth found in Australia

(Curtin University/Desert Fireball Network)The rock retrieved from a fallen meteorite in the Australian outback.

Geologists recently recovered a rock from a primordial meteorite that fell on Earth in November last year in the Australian outback. They were able to retrieve it just in time before heavy rains would have washed its traces. They believe the fragment is even older than Earth itself.

The team used a network of 32 remote camera observatories that are stationed at William Creek, Mount Barry, Billa Kalina and Wilpoorina. The cameras and a number of locals in the William Creek and Marree areas were able to see the meteorite as it hurtled from space down to the planet on Nov. 27, 2015.

Using the footage, the researchers from Desert Fireball Network conducted image analysis, triangulation and dynamic calculations to determine the exact location where the meteorite had fallen. The results helped them to estimate the site, which is around Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre. By New Year's Eve, they had already made their way to Lake Eyre and started digging.

Mechatronic engineer Dr. Jonathan Paxman, who is part of the team, said in a statement said that the site was not at all easy to access, "being more than six kilometres from a remote part of the lake's edge." Moreover, because of the rain that recently fell in the area, the lake's mud and the whole desert were still damp and soft.

Planetary scientist Phil Bland who led the team said that the meteorite crucial in the study of the early formation of the solar system, which happened 4.5 billion years ago.

"This meteorite is of special significance as the camera observations used to calculate the fall positions have also enabled the solar system orbit of the meteorite to be calculated, giving important contextual information for future study," Bland explained.

The rock has not been given an official name yet until it gets its classification and acceptance by the international Nomenclature committee of the Meteoritical Society.

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