Rare meteorite that fell in Rajasthan said to contain clues to life's origin

Scientists have discovered water-bearing minerals in the meteorite, which fell in Rajasthan last year.

  • Published: March 14, 2018 2:24 PM IST

Scientists have been long been examining two meteorites, which fell in Assam and Rajasthan over the span of 13 hours last year. Now they have come out with some interesting discoveries, which could further help in understanding the humankind’s origin. At the Geological Survey of India, the two meteorites were being examined and scientists have concluded that they contain water-bearing minerals that could contain “significant clues to the origins of life”, The Hindu reports.

It was on the evening of June 5, 2017, that a meteorite weighing 3.014 kilograms fell in Natun Balijan village in Tinsukia, Assam. The second meteorite, weighing 2.23 kilograms, fell in Mukundpura village under Sadiya subdivision near Jaipur, after 13 hours on June 6, 2017.

The meteorite, which fell on a sandy farmland near Jaipur, created a 6-inch deep hole, with a diameter of nearly 43cm. The scientists now refer to it as the ‘Mukundpura carbonaceous meteorite’. It is said to be a rare type since carbonaceous meteorites constitute only 3-5 percent of all meteorite falls.

The meteorites were under observation for over 10 months. “The Mukundpura one is a carbonaceous meteorite, one of the most primitive types. They contain grains of calcium and iron which date to a time before the sun came into existence. They may contain clues to the formation of early life,” a scientist at the GSI is quoted as saying in the report.

A carbonaceous meteorite contains carbon compound, including organic ones, and water. Analysis also revealed the presence of the minerals in the meteorite. The GSI report says the meteorite is “believed to have the most pristine primordial matter recovered from space, which might carry important clues to the origin of early life.” As for the other meteorite which fell in Assam, scientists have classified it as an “ordinary chondrite”.

  • Published Date: March 14, 2018 2:24 PM IST