It was a fireball that lit the skies of Nevada last month, traveling fast enough to create sonic booms, landing with a third of the force of an atomic bomb. A meteorite the size of an SUV, it prompted dozens of collectors and scientists to scour the area, looking for just a sliver of the rare rock. Now, a piece of the meteorite is in the Field Museum for study, and it may answer how life formed on Earth.
The Field Museum's collection manager for meteorites and physical geology, Jim Holstein, joins us on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm to share the rare find. Visit the image gallery below to see photos of the meteorite fragments.
The meteorites are made of carbonaceous chondrite, one of the rarer types of meteorites. Over 80,000 tons of rock and space dust fall to Earth each year--most of it dust--according to Holstein, only about a ton is CM.
"They are considered some of the most primitive [forms of meteorites]—relatively unaltered from the formation of the solar system," he said.
CM, as the name implies, contains carbon, in addition to evidence of water, and amino acids.