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A meteorite as old as the solar system was found in the Italian Alps

A meteorite as old as the solar system was found in the Italian Alps

A meteorite as old as our solar system was found on the Monte Custon Road, in the European Mountains, in the upper Siriana Valley. to me discover it He was a 29-year-old boy, attracted by a strange, dark stone that stood out from the others in a lighter colour. Then he picked it up for a better look, realizing that the strange stone was made of shiny metallic grains. The extraordinary nature of the discovery was corroborated by the analyzes carried out by the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Padua: the meteorite fragment was found between 4.5 and 4.6 billion years ago.

A meteor is an extraterrestrial object that survives its fall to Earth. While traversing the atmosphere, this stone takes the name meteorite, while fragmentation follows, a meteorite. The meteorites are recognized by the presence of a fusion crust – the dark patina formed by the fusion of the outer part during the passage of the atmosphere – with a high specific weight due to the fact that often Its alloys, from the magnetic properties associated with the presence of the latter inside, and from the irregular and compact shape that almost always differs from the shape of the rocks in the area in which they are located. Meteorites can be divided according to the origin of their bodies or according to their mineral composition. These exogenous stones can also be categorized based on their arrival and discovery on our planet. In fact, we are talking about meteorites that fell, when their fall to the ground was observed; We speak instead of meteorites that have been found, when they are recovered some time after their fall.

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It was 2020 when young parker Federico Bogliani presented the strange stone found during an outing to the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Padua. It is almost a unique event, as it is not uncommon to encounter a meteor while walking peacefully in the mountains. As reported by the research group, the first approach made using the stone was an image that allowed experts to instantly identify “melted crust,” a characteristic of meteorites. That is why the boy was immediately invited to go to Padua to do The first scanning electron microscope analysisMore succinctly, search engine marketing.

This is from English scanning electron microscope, is an instrument capable of analyzing any type of material at very high magnifications, thanks to the electron beam. Moreover, the latest SEM models are not only able to magnify an object by 100,000 times, but are also able to perform “targeted” chemical analyzes on limited parts of a very small object (up to 0.001 mm). Electron microscopy revealed that the iron parts of the stone also contain small percentages of nickel. A special feature was that with its clear melting crust, it left no doubt that the UFO was a meteorite. In fact, iron and nickel are typical of extraterrestrial stonesas in the rocks of our planet, iron cannot be a metal, because it will oxidize.

Unfortunately, it is impossible for researchers to determine when or how large the meteorite fell at Monte Coston, because it has not been seen falling to Earth (a rare event). It is assumed that this may have been about a meter long, then fragmented by impact with the ground, spreading over great distances. However, it was possible to determine his age. To go back to the age of the meteorite, radioactive isotopes are used that indicate its exposure to cosmic rays. It seems that the extraterrestrial stone found in Italy exists Between 4.5 and 4.6 billion years old, About the size of our solar system. As for the age of the Earth, this is the time elapsed from the moment of the fall, indicated by the fact that as soon as cosmic radioactive isotopes existed on Earth, they were no longer generated in the meteorite.

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[di Eugenia Greco]