Touch the skies! NASA scientist hot in hunt for fiery meteorite that crashed to Earth

NASA scientist has literally taken to the sky to track the meteorite that tore through Utah.

| Updated on: Sep 06 2022, 23:54 IST
Meteorite tore through the Utah sky last month!
Meteorite tore through the Utah sky last month! (NASA/JPL)
Meteorite tore through the Utah sky last month!
Meteorite tore through the Utah sky last month! (NASA/JPL)

Weeks after a fiery meteorite into Earth, a scientist from NASA has taken to the skies to track down the path of the meteorite. The meteorite had crashed in Utah. Peter Jenniskens boarded a KSL-TV chopper to look for a hole in the ground where the meteorite hit the earth. He said, “"We're literally looking for a hole in the ground, yeah, because the soil here is fairly soft and it looks like the rocks are just punching through." The empty hole that Jenniskens did discover shows no evidence of the rock, but the information will help Jenniskens in tracking the details as he said, “So, it does look like something was dug out here, so it's quite possible a meteorite did fall in this location.”

According to Jenniskens, the hole looks like an arrow pointing towards the path of the meteorite across the Salt Flats. He is finding out where the meteorite came from. Each meteorite rock contains information like when it left the asteroid belt and how long it spent in space before landing on Earth.

Though Jenniskens didn't find any space rocks, he got more clues about where to look for them.

"For me, this is just fascinating. It's the closest you get to touch the skies. I mean, this is really space coming to meet us," Jenniskens stated.

What is a meteorite?

A meteorite is a piece of a comet or asteroid that falls into the Earth's atmosphere and survives to hit the surface. These space objects come in three categories: stony, metallic and stony metallic. Stony meteorites are made from rocky material. These are the most common type of meteorites. On the other hand, metallic meteorites are made up of mostly iron and nickel, while stony-metallic meteorites are made from both rocky and metallic material. According to "Meteorites and the Early Solar System II” book, only around 8 percent of meteorites fall into either of these categories.

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First Published Date: 06 Sep, 23:54 IST