“Winchcombe Meteorite” – To be Displayed in the UK

What is the News? A piece of Winchcombe meteorite will be displayed at the National History Museum, Gloucestershire (UK).

About Winchcombe meteorite:
  • The Winchcombe meteorite is also known as carbonaceous meteorite. These meteorites have high proportion of carbon.
  • It was discovered after it landed in the driveway of a house located in Gloucestershire in the UK and considered “astonishingly rare”.
  • It is named after the place, where it fell down i.e. the town of Winchcombe in Gloucestershire in the UK. Furthermore, its weight is 103 grams, and it resembles coal in looks

Significance of meteorites:

  • Meteorites date back to the birth of the solar system nearly 4.5 billion years ago. Hence, examining it may offer scientists and researchers clues about the beginning of the solar system and maybe even the Earth.
  • Moreover, this meteorite is also significant because it has fallen and recovered from the UK in about 30 years.
What are Meteoroids, Meteors, and Meteorites?
  • Meteoroids: These are objects in space that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids. Think of them as “space rocks.”
  • Meteors: When meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere (or that of another planet, like Mars) at high speed and burn up, the fireballs or “shooting stars” are called meteors.
  • Meteorite: When a meteoroid survives a trip through the atmosphere and hits the ground, it’s called a meteorite.
Specific Missions launched to study Asteroid:
  • OSIRIS-REx mission: NASA launched it in 2018, with the aim to reach asteroid Bennu and get back a sample from the ancient asteroid.
  • Hayabusa2 mission: It was launched by Japan Space Agency in 2014 with the aim to study the asteroid Ryugu and to collect samples to bring to Earth for analysis. It returned to Earth in 2020.

Source: Indian Express


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