4.46 Billion-Year-Old Meteorite Flew Around in Space Before Earth’s Existence, Scientists Say

By  //  August 8, 2018

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4.46 billion-year-old, green meteorite helps scientists learn more

The NWA 11119 meteorite is about the size of a baseball and is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. (Fox News image)

(FOX NEWS) – Approximately 4.5 billion years ago, the catastrophic explosion of a massive star, a supernova, caused an immense cloud of cosmic dust and gas to come together and form our solar system. But exactly how the planets were built remains somewhat of a mystery to scientists.

Now, a newly discovered, 4.6-billion-year-old, sparkly, green meteorite that formed just before that explosion is helping scientists learn more about how the solar system’s planets were pieced together.

The remarkable, baseball-size space rock, called Northwest Africa (NWA) 11119, was acquired by a meteorite dealer in Africa in 2016. That dealer sent the specimen to Carl Agee, a planetary geologist and meteorite curator at the University of New Mexico.

Agee wasn’t sure if the rock was a meteorite (which would mean it came from space), so he asked his doctoral student Poorna Srinivasan to analyze the object.

At first, both Agee and Srinivasan were skeptical that the rock had come from beyond our planet. “We did not think this rock was a meteor at all.

We thought it was from Earth,” Srinivasan told Live Science. But after closer examination, she said, “we saw that this could, in no way, be from Earth.”

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