Global Geological And Climatic Events

Rare meteorite may hold clue to life’s origin


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Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Meteorites, Geological Survey of India (GSI)

Mains level: Studies related to the origin of life


Evidence of origins of life

  1. A study of two meteorites by the Geological Survey of India (GSI) has concluded that they may contain significant clues to the origins of life
  2. These meteorites fell in Assam and Rajasthan over a span of 13 hours in 2017

Material dates back to the pre-sun era

  1. The Mukundpura (Rajasthan) meteorite is a carbonaceous meteorite, one of the most primitive types
  2. They contain grains of calcium and iron which date to a time before the sun came into existence
  3. They may contain clues to the formation of early life

Back2Basics

Meteorites

  1. A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or moon
  2. When the object enters the atmosphere, various factors like friction, pressure, and chemical interactions with the atmospheric gases cause it to heat up and radiate that energy
  3. It then becomes a meteor and forms a fireball, also known as a shooting star or falling star
  4. Meteorites have traditionally been divided into three broad categories: stony meteorites are rocks, mainly composed of silicate minerals; iron meteorites that are largely composed of metallic iron-nickel; and, stony-iron meteorites that contain large amounts of both metallic and rocky material
  5. Meteorites mostly originate from the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter
  6. Meteorites are always named for the places they were found usually a nearby town or geographic feature
  7. In cases where many meteorites were found in one place, the name may be followed by a number or letter

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