December 8, 2022

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- It can explain the entire composition of our solar system

– It can explain the entire composition of our solar system

A sharp flash of light followed by a loud bang prompted emergency services to be called in large parts of southern Norway on a hot July day in 2021.

However, it soon became clear that it was not something frightening, but a meteorite several billion years old, which had accidentally fallen into Finimarca in the municipality of Lier, north of Drammen.

There is a fast buzzing pointing at Oslo-Drameen in about two seconds.

On Monday 25 July, a year has passed since the accident, the meteor is still missing without a trace. Nevertheless, the search for the space rock continues with great enthusiasm.

It was a totally insane commitment, meteorite expert Morten Billett of the NTB Norwegian Meteor Network told me.

Meteorologist Morten Billett at the Norwegian Meteor Network says there is still hope of finding the meteorite, but it also may not happen until many years from now. Photo: Norwegian Meteor Network / NTB

He himself has obtained several black stones for examination over the past year, although it has not yet been proven that they are from outer space.

– No wonder people care when a meteor comes from far away, perhaps all the way from Mars or Jupiter! He says it could explain the entire formation process in our solar system.

This is what a meteorite rock looks like.  Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB

This is what a meteorite rock looks like. Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB

Three meteorite pieces

New last summer is that Norwegian meteorite experts found that as many as three pieces of meteorites are hidden in swamps and forests outside Drammen. However, it is precisely nature that makes the research process difficult.

The area is mainly water and marshes. When a half-kilogram stone comes at 300 kilometers per hour toward Earth, we know it’s going straight through the surfaces, so it’s likely to disappear deeper into the swamp, explains Billett, who adds that a meteorite isn’t particularly magnetic either.

– Does not respond to magnetic search. He says if he disappears to the ground, this could be a difficult project.

Chances of finding meteorites are better after winter.

It’s much easier when the snow starts to melt because the ground beneath is hard, and the meteorites that fell during the winter are left completely exposed, Billett explains.

It refers, among other things, to the huge meteorite that fell in the Ural region of Russia in February 2013, which was found as soon as the ice melted.

This is also what a meteorite could look like.  Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB

This is also what a meteorite could look like. Photo: Torstein Bøe / NTB

mystery

But even though it’s been a year since the meteorite reached Norway, Pelete doesn’t think that means it will ever be found. He’s been the same abroad and about a few times.

Many meteorites were found around the world after only several years, he says enthusiastically.

The circumstances surrounding the missing meteorite are currently unknown.

– It’s very exciting. One wonders where the meteorite comes from, whether it is a space rock from the Moon or perhaps from Mars, or a carbonaceous meteorite with rare amino acids. Billet concludes that the possibilities are endless.

(© NTB)

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