'Meteorite cemetery' in the deadliest desert in the world

Scientists have discovered the Atacama desert - the driest place on earth - once the center of the attack of hundreds of ancient meteorites.

The team of scientists from the University of Aix-Marseille (France) has just published a study that is considered extraordinary by experts: finding a total of 388 meteors belonging to the most ancient type of Earth.

Picture 1 of 'Meteorite cemetery' in the deadliest desert in the world
One of the meteorites found in Atacama - (Photo provided by the team).

Surprisingly, this huge meteorite collection comes from the same place, the Atacama Desert, in Chile. This South American desert is famous for being the driest place on the planet and has formed more than 10-15 million years ago.

It is estimated that the average age of meteorites is 710,000 years, of which nearly one-third are 1 million years older and 2 more than 2 million years old. They are mainly made from stone and mineral particles.

The research steps show that there is a special group of iron-rich meteorites, which are space rocks falling at the Atacama about 1 million to half a million years ago. Their composition differs from falling meteorites before or after. They may be derived from a mysterious object, collided and broken in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. That mysterious, ancient and distant event is strong enough to shoot a large number of meteors to Earth.

Picture 2 of 'Meteorite cemetery' in the deadliest desert in the world
The world's driest Atacama Desert - (photo: SHUTTERSTOCK).

The fact that too many meteorites are concentrated in one place is judged to be special, because previous estimates show that on average every 2 million years only a total of 222 meteorites came to us. But the figure found at Atacama in 2 million years has nearly doubled.

Currently the research team is moving towards more in-depth analysis. Because ancient objects from space always promise interesting secrets about the origin of the ancient Solar System, and may be our own origins.

The research has just been published in the journal Geology.

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