Sale 16453
Sculpted by Nature: Fossils, Minerals and Meteorites
Online 1 - 8 November 2018

The 6th October 2008 was the first day that scientists observed an asteroid on a collision course with Earth and were able to predict the point it would impact the planet. Fortunately, unlike the doomsday scenarios of Hollywood science fiction, this asteroid (called 2008 TC3) was small and exploded in the atmosphere above the Nubian desert; nobody was hurt despite the energy released being equivalent to approximately 1.5 kilotons of TNT.
After the meteorites recovery the next day, it was given the official designation Almahata Sitta, Arabic for "Station Six," a station stop on the rail line Khartoum to Wadi Halfa. As scientists continue to analyse the fragments recovered, the meteorite reveals an intriguing story about our early Solar System. Not only were the buildings blocks of life found, amino acids, but also the presence of nanodiamonds implies a creation under immense pressures -- those normally associated with planets. In a paper published earlier this year it was proposed that within the first 10 million years of the Solar System's formation 4.6 billion years ago a planetary embryo the size of Mercury or Mars was obliterated, and is the ultimate source of the Almahata Sitta meteorites.

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