It all started on November 27, 2015 when we detected a fragment that hit the Earth. Residents of the William Creek and Marree areas of southern Australia attended the descent. It has also been detected via the Desert Fireball Network (DFN) which is a set of digital cameras that monitors the sky to trace meteorites. Once detected, the race for her discovery was opened.
The two friends of Curtin University were very fortunate because heavy downpours had hit the Lake Eyre area of southern Australia, where the meteorite had been recorded. All traces of the crash had been erased. It was between two storms that Phil Bland found the big rock in a hole in the bed of a dry lake.
In the New Year, geologist Phil Bland’s team managed to locate the meteorite in the Lake Eyre area. The scientists then dug it out by hand. “It took incredible effort,” said Phil Bland at ABC News. It would be prior to the formation of the Earth, and would date from the first moments of the creation of the solar system.
After some analysis of the images, triangulations and other calculations, the search began around the Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre area, one of the lowest points of Australia from December 29, 2015. A drone and a light aircraft were used to guide Phil Bland and Robert Howie who are part of the DFN team. They found the meteorite after 3 days of research. A 1.7-kg rock that had sunk into the mud of a salt lake 42 centimeters below the surface. If the researchers had delayed a few days, abundant rains would have made it disappear permanently.
According to the first analyzes, it is a chondrite, a stony meteorite that is about 4.5 billion years old, the same period as the formation of the Earth.
This is an exciting geological discovery to learn more about the origins of the universe, but it is also a good advertisement for the DFN network. This meteorite proves that camera observations can provide valuable information for studying future falls, according to the researchers. This network of cameras is huge and the discovery of this stone from space proves that it works perfectly.
To locate the meteorite, the team of geologists was able to count on the “Desert Fireball Network”, a set of 32 cameras installed in the Australian hinterland and whose function is to spot meteorites that crash in this area. “This discovery is the first in a series,” commented Phil Bland. And each of them will give us valuable information about the formation of the solar system. “
The researchers believe that the meteorite comes from an area between Mars and Jupiter and the real analyzes will begin soon. The researchers applaud the cooperation of several disciplines and a quick reaction to the discovery of this rare meteorite which would have passed completely unnoticed and disappeared in the depths of the earth.