An impressive fireball lit up the U.K. night sky and Northern Europe. Locals found multiple meteorite fragments, and some scientists speculate that they may contain the “building blocks of life.”
A once-in-a-lifetime meteorite, oddly discovered on the driveway of a house in Gloucestershire, is the first instance of finding a space rock in the U.K. in the past three decades, according to a statement of the Natural History Museum of London.
It will provide researchers an opportunity to form hypotheses regarding how the solar system used to look like when it was still forming, approximately 4.6 billion years ago.
The space rock was named the Winchcombe meteorite, according to the town where it landed.
The rare discovery is the outcome of a fireball observed on February 28, at approximately 10 p.m. over the western area of the U.K. The flash of light lasted for approximately six seconds, according to the museum officials.
The museum is now inspecting bits of the meteorite, which weighs only 10.6 ounces. The meteorite is known as a carbonaceous chondrite type.
Sara Russel, a museum researchers, stated:
“There are about 65,000 known meteorites in the entire world, and of those, only 51 of them are carbonaceous chondrites that have been seen to fall like this one.”
The sample is such an excellent condition that researchers even compared it to probes from past space missions.
The meteorite is unique because it originates from an asteroid that formed millions of years ago, at the same time when the planets of our solar system were forming.
The object is unique because it contains traces of organic compounds, including amino acids, the building blocks of life.