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Prospector’s Mysterious Rock Was No Nugget, But Something Much Rarer

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Dave Hole, a citizen of Maryborough, Australia, discovered an extraordinary reddish rock when he was looking for gold in Maryborough in around 2015. It weighed about a ton, making him believe that there was a nugget hidden inside.

But he was proven wrong. Don’t you worry, even though he didn’t find gold, he found something way rarer than gold. This rock contained metal raindrops from the dawn of our solar system.

Many people come to the Melbourne Museum, claiming that they found meteorites. Dermot Henry and Bill Birch are museum geologists, and it’s their duty to examine these so-called meteorites. So far, only two of them were meteorites. 

Yet Mr. Hole’s rock got the geologists at the edge of their chairs. The rock was about a 4.6 billion-year-old meteorite. They formed when they travel through the atmosphere. The atmosphere sculpts the meteorite, melting it on the outside and adding a sculpted, dimpled look. 

It was named the ‘Maryborough Meteorite.’ It is cumbersome because it contains dense forms of iron and nickel. Mr. Henry had to use an intense diamond saw to cut into the meteorite to discover a cross-section of tiny silver raindrops.

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These droplets of silicate minerals crystallized due to the hot cloud gas that formed our solar system. They call it ‘H5 Chondrite’, and it is identical to the rocks from which Earth was built. 

Roughly about 4.6 billion years ago, our solar system contained lumps of chondrites circling the sun. These rocks came together to form Earth and other rocky planets. The leftover lumps orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. When two asteroids in the belt crash into one another, it makes rock shards fly. 

This is how the Maryborough meteorite must have come into existence. After entering Earth’s atmosphere, the surface turned red and molten due to the friction experienced. After it landed on Earth, Mr. Hole found it in a dense scrub. 

According to the lack of weathering on the rock, the geologists assumed that it was on Earth for less than 200 years. 

Curious to have a look at this meteorite? Click the video below.

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According to LiveScience website, meteorites are quite valuable as they are rarer than gold, platinum, diamonds, and emeralds.

Meteorites are divided into three broad categories. The stony meteorites are rocks mainly composed of silicate minerals. Iron meteorites are primarily composed of metallic iron-nickel and then the stony-iron meteorites that comprise large amounts of both metallic and rocky material.

A meteorite a solid piece of debris which comes from an object, as an asteroid, comet, or meteoroid. It originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach a planet or moon’s surface.

Did you know that Stardust is the oldest material discovered on Earth, and it is about 7 billion years old? 

Stardust indicates how stars came into being in our galaxy. These presolar grain-minerals were created before the sun came into existence. Just like people, stars too have a lifecycle; to read more, click here.

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