Why in News?
- A new study has shed light on the mineralogy of the meteorite that fell near Jaipur in 2017.
- A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or moon.
- The meteorite named Mukundpura CM2 (which fell near Jaipur) was classified to be a carbonaceous chondrite.
- The results of the Mukundpura CM2 study are relevant to the surface composition of near-Earth asteroids Ryugu and Bennu.
- Meteorites are broadly classified into three groups – stony (silicate-rich), iron (Fe–Ni alloy), and stony-iron (mixed silicate–iron alloy). Chondrites are silicate-droplet-bearing meteorites
Significance of meteorites
- Some meteorites contain grains of dust (“stardust”) that were produced by stars before the formation of our Solar System. Studies of these presolar grains can increase our understanding of star formation and evolution.
- By analysing the concentrations of multiple elements and their isotopes in meteorites, researchers are adding to our knowledge of the age and bulk chemical composition of the Solar System.
- Large meteorite impacts have shaped the face of our planet and the Moon through time. Many scientists believe that a very large impact was even responsible for the formation of the Moon.
- The analysis of different types of meteorites and their components are leading to new knowledge of the earliest conditions in our Solar System.
- Meteorites may have brought to Earth the components necessary for life – organic compounds such as carboxylic acids, complex amino acids, aliphatic amines, acetic acid and formic acid can be transported great distances inside space rocks.
- Additionally, large meteorite impacts, like the one ~65 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs, can lead to major extinctions and influence the course of life on our planet.
- Meteoroid -A meteoroid is a small rocky or metallic body in outer space.
- Asteroid -Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the Sun. Although asteroids orbit the Sun like planets, they are much smaller than planets
- Comet – A comet is an icy, small Solar System body that, when passing close to the Sun, warms and begins to release gases, a process called outgassing. When a comet comes close to the Sun, the ices sublimate (go directly from the solid to the gas phase) and form, along with entrained dust particles, a bright outflowing atmosphere around the comet nucleus known as a coma.
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