Tag Archives | Meteorites

Essential Vitamin B3 May Have Arrived From Space On Meteorites

meteorDid life spring from space residue? Via ScienceDaily:

Ancient Earth might have had an extraterrestrial supply of vitamin B3 delivered by carbon-rich meteorites, according to a new analysis by NASA-funded researchers. The result supports a theory that the origin of life may have been assisted by a supply of key molecules created in space and brought to Earth by comet and meteor impacts.

This is not the first time vitamin B3 has been found in meteorites. In 2001 a team led by Sandra Pizzarello of Arizona State University, in Tempe discovered it along with related molecules called pyridine carboxylic acids in the Tagish Lake meteorite.

The team plans to conduct additional interstellar chemistry experiments under more realistic conditions to better understand how vitamin B3 can form on ice grains in space.

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5,000-Year-Old Egyptian Jewelry’s Materials Came From Outer Space

egyptian

The International Business Times reports on the interplanetary origins of ancient human culture:

A set of funeral beads which could be the oldest iron artifacts on earth actually came from outer space, archaeologists have claimed.

The nine iron beads, which were found in a 5000-year-old Egyptian cemetery in 1911, were made from a meteorite that crashed to earth around 3200 BC, according to a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science.

“These beads were made from meteoritic iron, and shaped by careful hammering of the metal into thin sheets before rolling them into tubes,” researchers noted, adding that neutron and X-ray scanning of the iron beads proved that the metal came from a meteorite.

The iron was strung into a necklace together with other exotic minerals such as lapis lazuli, gold and carnelian. The findings suggest that iron and metal works were much advanced in the ancient Egypt than previously thought.

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Half Of Russians Believe That The Chelyabinsk Meteor Strike Was Not A Meteor

Was the meteor flash of two weeks ago a UFO, divine miracle, or weapons test? Take your pick. The Christian Science Monitor reports:

A survey published today by the fairly staid Moscow daily Noviye Izvestia found that barely half its readers believe the official report that the blast a week ago in the Ural Mountains was caused by a meteor.

According to the newspaper, the other half prefer to believe in an assortment of bizarre explanations, including that the blast was a secret U.S. weapon test, an off-course ballistic missile, a message from God, or a crashing alien spaceship.

Russian ultranationalist parliamentarian Vladimir Zhirinovsky, has suggested that anti-Russian hardliners in the United States staged a secret weapons test over Russia. And the trade union newspaper Trud made the cheery suggestion that the meteorite could be carrying deadly viruses from outer space, possibly the work of malevolent extraterrestrial forces.

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Meteorite Slams into Russia! Can You Trust NASA?

Hundreds were injured yesterday when what is estimated to be a ten-ton meteorite exploded over Chelyabinsk, a city in central Russia. People as far as 125 miles away reported seeing the meteorite’s long white tail as it hurtled toward Earth. The meteorite exploded before hitting the ground, shattered windows, triggered car alarms and sending chunks of flaming rock shooting across the sky.

At this time, Russian authorities say that radiation levels in the area are normal.

Scientists at the European Space Agency and the United States’ NASA state that the incident was not connected with 2012 DA14, a 125-foot asteroid estimated to pass within 5,000 miles of earth later today – an astronomical near miss.

NASA’s assertion that the two events are unconnected has to be taken on faith, but have you ever wondered if the government would even tell you if an asteroid impact was imminent? Knowledge of such an event would trigger worldwide chaos as the date of impact came closer. Rioting, hoarding, terrorism, random acts of nihilist violence,  and people abandoning their jobs to spend more time with their families would send society spiraling out of control. What would you do if you were the government and you knew that no matter what, a very large percentage of the population was going to die? Would it be responsible to tell the truth or better to let people continue on until that fateful day? What if you and your family had access to secret, below-ground government bunkers, and all you had to do was keep your mouth shut? Would you tell and jeopardize the survival of your loved ones?

I think we know the answers.

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Fossilized Algae Inside Meteorite Is Proof Of Extraterrestrial Life, Researchers Claim

Their findings are fiercely controversial, but I want to believe in the space algae. Russia Today reports:

Fossilized algae recently discovered inside a Sri Lankan meteorite could finally prove the existence of extra-terrestrial life, claim the authors of the new paper recently published in the Journal of Cosmology.

The paper alleges that “microscopic fossilized diatoms were found in the sample,” which fell in Sri Lanka in December last year. The finding, the work suggests is “strong evidence to support the theory of cometary panspermia.” Panspermia suggests that life could have existed on another planet and moved to Earth.

The finding however has already come under sharp criticism, with astronomers claiming that the meteorite looks more like a rock that could be found on earth as the study provides vague details of the finding. Astronomer and lecturer Phil Plait wrote that the chemical analysis presented “doesn’t prove it’s a carbonaceous chondrite, let alone a meteorite,” and there is “no reason to trust that what they have is a meteorite.”

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Canadian Meteorite Has All the Building Blocks for Life

MeteorInteresting article from Tim Barribeau on io9.com:

The argument that life on Earth may have been seeded from the stars just received a major boost, as scientists have found the building blocks of life inside a meteorite that landed in British Columbia in 2000.

The Tagish Lake meteorite landed in January of that year, a streaking fireball that burst into more than 500 fragments which rained down on the lake. In its trip from the outer reaches of the asteroid belt it burned down from 56 tonnes to 1.3, and deep inside the fragments there are the basic building blocks of life, including the amino acids, sugars and hydrocarbons that could have jump started life on our planet.

This meteorite is the only uncontaminated example we’ve ever found, thanks to the quick actions of the people who spotted it. What the researchers have found is that the organic compounds in the rock date back to the early days of the solar system, or possible predate it.

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The Search For Alien Space Miners

Dune SandwormRay Villard writes on Discovery News:

Rather than looking for aliens who use interstellar radio signals to say “hi,” an alternative search strategy is simply to spy on any mega-engineering projects that an advanced civilization might be undertaking. Veteran SETI astronomer Jill Tarter calls this strategy “SETT” — the Search for Extraterrestrial Technology.

A new science paper by Duncan Forgan at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and Martin Elvis at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., suggests we look for evidence of a very ambitious macro-engineering project: the wholesale mining of an asteroid belt. The asteroid material may be mined to build space colonies, solar power satellites or maybe even an entire “ringworld,” as imagined by sci-fi writer Larry Niven.

What’s more, precious metals are in high demand for technologies such as computers, high-speed networks and mobile phones. So-called “green technologies” of the future, such as hydrogen fuel cells, will also place a demand on rare resources.

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Black-Market Trinkets From Space

The Willamette Meteorite, the largest ever to be found in the United States.

The Willamette Meteorite, the largest ever to be found in the United States.

The New York Times reports:

Ebay and other Web sites pulse with hundreds of sales pitches. “The pieces below have an exceptional patina,” a site called Star-bits.com said of 10 pictured fragments.

The ads are for chunks of meteorites, bits of asteroids that have fallen from the sky and are as prized by scientists as they are by collectors. As more meteorites have been discovered in recent years, interest in them has flourished and an illegal sales market has boomed — much to the dismay of the people who want to study them and the countries that consider them national treasures.

“It’s a black market,” said Ralph P. Harvey, a geologist at Case Western Reserve University who directs the federal search for meteorites in Antarctica. “It’s as organized as any drug trade and just as illegal.”

The discovery of a rich and historically significant meteorite crater in southern Egypt, just north of the Sudanese border, has shown the voracious appetite for new fragments.

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