A Cell-Like Structure Found In Martian Meteorite

A Cell-Like Structure Found In Martian Meteorite

A-Cell-like-structure-found-In-Martian-Meteorite

Image © Elias Chatzitheodoridis, Sarah Haigh and Ian Lyon

Researchers have found a strange oval cell-like structure inside a Martian meteorite, but they didn’t confirm that it’s evidence of Red Planet life.

The mysterious cell-like oval structure, discovered in the Nakhla Mars meteorite which fell to Earth in Egypt in 1911.

The scientists claimed that it’s most likely formed as a ‘result of geological rather than biological’ processes.

They write in a study published in the journal Astrobiology. ”

“The consideration of possible biotic scenarios for the origin of the ovoid structure in Nakhla currently lacks any sort of compelling evidence. Therefore, based on the available data that we have obtained on the nature of this conspicuous ovoid structure in Nakhla, we conclude that the most reasonable explanation for its origin is that it formed through abiotic processes.”

via space.com
via Worldlesstech

Meteorite Reveals Secrets of Mars’ Past

Meteorite Reveals Secrets of Mars’ Past

A piece of rock found it’s way all the way from Mars to a desert in Northwest Africa. And now it’s has the potential to tell us all kinds of things about the Red Planet. Trace explains what this one rock might help scientists uncover.

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Chelyabinsk meteorite may have gang of siblings – study

Chelyabinsk meteorite may have gang of siblings – study

Chelyabinsk meteorite may have gang of siblings – study

The Chelyabinsk meteor trace. (RIA Novosti / Nakanune.RU)

The Chelyabinsk meteorite that hit Russia in February, injuring over a thousand, may have stemmed from a massive cluster of rocks which broke off from a disintegrating asteroid thousands of years ago, a new study claims.

Spanish astronomers have discovered that the Chelyabinsk bolide, an 18-meter wide 11,000-ton space rock that burst in a 460-kiloton explosion above Russia, used to be a part of a larger space body.

Scientists believe between 20,000 to 40,000 years ago, a massive body orbiting the sun broke up, most likely as a result of the temperature extremes and planetary gravitation it experienced while looping out past Mars and Venus.

Subsequently, the pieces of that asteroid formed a so-called ‘asteroid family’, a group of asteroids that share same origin, composition and orbit. The parent of this potentially hazardous asteroid family has been identified as 2011 EO40. Those rocks are still flying somewhere in space, and just like the Chelyabinsk meteorite, their orbits could intersect with that of Earth.

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In a new study, Carlos de la Fuente Marcos and his brother Raul from the Complutense University in Madrid said that they have found reliable statistical evidence for the existence of the Chelyabinsk cluster, or asteroid family.

The brothers used computer simulations of billions of possible asteroid orbits to find the ones most fitting into the Chelyabinsk impactor pre-collision orbit. They then searched the NASA database of known asteroids to find out if any of them follow those orbits. In the course of their investigation, they spotted the Chelyabinsk bolide family of about 20 asteroids, which range in size from 5 to 200 meters across.

“It appears to include multiple small asteroids and two relatively large members: 2007 BD7 and 2011 EO40. The most probable parent body for the Chelyabinsk superbolide is [asteroid] 2011 EO40,” according to their article, which is to be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters.

The study points out that the shattered pieces of a rubble-pile asteroid can spread along the entire orbit of the parent body, making their collision with Earth possible on a time-scale of hundreds of years.

meteorite-3_3

Fragments of the Chelyabinsk meteorite are studied at the laboratory of the Research and Educational Center of Nanomaterials and Nanotechnologies of Ural Federal University. (RIA Novosti / Pavel Lisitsyn)

The Spaniards do admit that the orbits of the Chelyabinsk bolide asteroid family have not been definitively calculated and there is room for debate about whether they are a ‘family’ at all. The Spanish researchers also said the gravitational pull of the planets may affect the paths of the other rocks in the cluster in a slightly different way, so even if the orbits of these objects initially seem similar, they could radically change down the line.

Still, Carlos de la Fuente Marcos warns, “More objects with the same orbital signature may encounter our planet in the future”.

With a diameter of some 200 meters, 2011 EO40 has already been labeled a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) by the Minor Planet Center (MPC). It was first classified as an Earth crosser upon its discovery in 2011. So far its orbit has not been entirely calculated, being modeled on a mere 34 days of observations, whereas it usually takes years of follow-ups of a space object to know its trajectory with certainty.

Jorge Zuluaga from the University of Antioquia in Colombia has doubts if 2011 EO40 is in fact the parent of the Chelyabinsk meteor and isn’t worried about it creating further impacts.

“I don’t think this particular asteroid is more hazardous than others in the MPC list,” said Zuluaga, adding that the asteroid isn’t on a direct collision course with Earth in any case.

David Nesvorny from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder Colorado was also skeptical of a definite link.

“It is not obvious to me why [the Chelyabinsk meteor] cannot be a fragment that was produced by a collision in the main asteroid belt, and evolved to its impact orbit by a few planetary encounters,” he told the journal Nature.

Further tests would be needed to confirm if 2011 EO40 was Chelyabinsk’s parent rock. Sending a probe into space to bring back samples is the only way to be completely sure. Another cheaper and a less conclusive option would be to analyze the light bouncing off it and collate its composition to fragments of the meteorite that hit Russia.

via RT

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Increasing Numbers of Meteorites Bringing Life Forms To Earth

Increasing Numbers of Meteorites Bringing Life Forms To Earth

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They are similar to micro-organisms found in fossils from the dinosaur age 55 million years ago.

Though critics argued that the rock had probably become contaminated with algae fossils from Earth, Prof Wickramasinghe insisted that they are the remnants of extra-terrestrial life.

He noted that the algae organisms are similar to ones found in Earth fossils and that the rock also has other organisms they have not yet identified.

Are We Aliens On Our Own Planet?

A meteorite that exploded above Canada 11 years ago has provided strong evidence that life’s building blocks came from space.

Fragments of the rock that landed on Tagish Lake, British Columbia, yielded a mix of organic compounds.

They included amino acids and monocarboxylic acids, both essential to the evolution of the first simple life forms on Earth.

Analysis of the chemicals revealed information about their history on the asteroid from which the meteorite came, and lent weight to the theory that organic material originates in gas and dust clouds between the stars.

If the theory is right, the building blocks of life would have been spread throughout our developing solar system.

Lead researcher Dr Chris Herd, of the University of Alberta, said: ‘The mix of pre-biotic molecules, so essential to jump-starting life, depended on what was happening out there in the asteroid belt.

‘The geology of an asteroid has an influence on what molecules actually make it to the surface of the Earth.’

The findings were published in the journal Science.

Experts are confident that the chemicals they analysed were not the result of contamination from the Earth.

Mark Sephton, a geochemist at Imperial College London, who was not involved in the study told The Scientist: ‘It’s real evidence of hydro-synthesis occurring in asteroids and creating compounds that might be biologically useful,’

Meteoriticist Eduardo Iadonisi said this is only the beginning of new discoveries that will number in the dozens in the next few years. “We have some evidence that meteorites will be increasing throughout 2013 and possibly 2014,” said Iadonisi. “It is highly probable that the dozens of meteors soon to impact Earth will also contain some evidence of extra-terrestrial life forms.” Iadonisi could not give an explanation on why more meteorites are impacting Earth, but is confident the trend of discovering alien life forms will continue.

“For all we know, this may be one way the universe is repopulating the Earth with different species,” he concluded.

Liz Bentley is a graduate in geology, professional photographer, freelance journalist and investigative reporter on fossil records and climatology.

Sources: 
wikipedia.org

space.com
snydericyrite.com
zeenews.india.com
prnewswire.com
journalofcosmology.com
cbsnews.com
dailytech.com
dailymail.co.uk

via Prevent Disease

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Meteorite Hits Russian Urals: Fireball Explosion Wreaks Havoc, Over 500 Injured (PHOTOS)

Meteorite Hits Russian Urals: Fireball Explosion Wreaks Havoc, Over 500 Injured (PHOTOS)

The trail of a falling object is seen above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, on February 15, 2013.(AFP Photo / Oleg Kargopolov)

The trail of a falling object is seen above a residential apartment block in the Urals city of Chelyabinsk, on February 15, 2013.(AFP Photo / Oleg Kargopolov)

 

Russia’s Urals region has been rocked by a meteorite explosion in the stratosphere. The impact wave damaged several buildings, and blew out thousands of windows amid frigid winter weather. Hundreds are seeking medical attention for minor injuries.

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Eyewitness accounts of the meteorite phenomenon, handpicked by RT.

Army units found three meteorite debris impact sites, two of which are in an area near Chebarkul Lake, west of Chelyabinsk.
The third site was found some 80 kilometers further to the northwest, near the town of Zlatoust. One of the fragments that struck near Chebarkul left a crater six meters in diameter.
Servicemembers from the tank brigade that found the crater have confirmed that background radiation levels at the site are normal.

Russian space agency Roskosmos has confirmed the object that crashed in the Chelyabinsk region is a meteorite:
“According to preliminary estimates, this space object is of non-technogenic origin and qualifies as a meteorite. It was moving at a low trajectory with a speed of about 30 km/s.”
According to estimates by the Russian Academy of Sciences, the space object weighed about 10 tons before entering Earth’s atmosphere.
As of 15:00 Moscow time, 725 people have sought medical attention in Chelyabinsk alone because of the disaster, 112 of whom have been hospitalized, of them two in heavy condition. Among the injured there are 159 children, Emergency ministry reported.
A meteorite is a solid piece of debris from space objects such as asteroids or comets, ranging in size from tiny to gigantic.
When a meteorite falls on Earth, passing through the atmosphere causes it to heat up and emit a trail of light, forming a fireball known as a meteor, or shooting or falling star.

A bright flash was seen in the Chelyabinsk, Tyumen and Sverdlovsk regions, Russia’s Republic of Bashkiria and in northern Kazakhstan.
The Russian army has joined the rescue operation. Army units are searching for meteorite debris in several places in Chelyabinsk region and in the neighboring Tyumen region.
Radiation, chemical and biological protection units have been put on high alert. Since the explosion occurred several kilometers above the Earth, a large ground area must be thoroughly checked for radiation and other threats.

At least one piece of the fallen object caused damage on the ground in Chelyabinsk. According to preliminary reports, it crashed into a wall near a zinc factory, disrupting the city’s Internet and mobile service.
The Emergency Ministry reported that 20,000 rescue workers are operating in the region. Three aircraft were deployed to survey the area and locate other possible impact locations.

The Ministry reported that 297 buildings were damaged, and another 450 buildings were left without gas because facilities in the city had also been damaged, an Emergency Ministry spokesperson said, according to Russia 24 news channel.

Witnesses said the explosion was so loud that it seemed like an earthquake and thunder had struck at the same time, and that there were huge trails of smoke across the sky. Others reported seeing burning objects fall to earth.
The Urals regional center of the Emergency Ministry claimed it sent out a mass SMS warning residents about a possible meteorite shower. However, eyewitnesses said they either never received it, or got the message after the explosion had already occurred.
Classes for all Chelyabinsk schools have been canceled, mostly due to broken windows. Institute students have been dismissed until next Monday. Authorities also ordered all kindergartens with broken windows to return children to their families.
According to unconfirmed reports, the meteorite was intercepted by an air defense unit at the Urzhumka settlement near Chelyabinsk. A missile salvo blew the meteorite to pieces at an altitude of 20 kilometers, local newspaper Znak reports quoting a source in the military.

Regnum news agency quoted a military source who claimed that the vapor condensation trail of the meteorite speaks to the fact that the meteorite was intercepted by air defenses.
Police in the Chelyabinsk region are reportedly on high alert, and have begun ‘Operation Fortress’ in order to protect vital infrastructure.

Office buildings in downtown Chelyabinsk are being evacuated. Injuries were reported at one of the city’s secondary schools, supposedly from smashed windows.
An emergency message published on the website of the Chelyabinsk regional authority urged residents to pick up their children from school and remain at home if possible.

Those in Chelyabinsk who had their windows smashed are scrambling to cover the openings with anything available – the temperature in the city is currently -6°C.
Chelyabinsk regional governor Mikhail Yurevich is urgently returning to the region. Yurevich said that preserving the city’s central heating system is authorities’ primary goal.
“Do not panic, this is an ordinary situation we can manage in a couple of days,” the governor said in and address to city residents.
Background radiation levels in Chelyabinsk remain unchanged, the Emergency Ministry reported.

The regional Emergency Ministry said the phenomenon was a meteorite shower, but locals have speculated that it was a military fighter jet crash or a missile explosion.
“According to preliminary data, the flashes seen over the Urals were caused by [a] meteorite shower,” the Emergency Ministry told Itar-Tass news agency.
The ministry also said that no local power stations or civil aircraft were damaged by the meteorite shower, and that “all flights proceed according to schedule.”
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who also oversees the Russian defense industry, wrote on Twitter that he would speak with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev about the incident in the Urals.

“On Monday I will bring to Medvedev a straight picture of what has happened in the Urals and prospective proposals of how the country can find out about the dangers approaching Earth and deal with them,” Rogozin wrote.
Residents of the town of Emanzhilinsk, some 50 kilometers from Chelyabinsk, said they saw a flying object that suddenly burst into flames, broke apart and fell to earth, and that a black cloud had been seen hanging above the town.
Witnesses in Chelyabinsk said the city’s air smells like gunpowder.
Residents across the Urals region were informed about the incident through a cellphone text message from the regional Emergency Ministry.

Many locals reported that the explosion rattled their houses and smashed windows.
“This explosion, my ears popped, windows were smashed… phone doesn’t work,”
Evgeniya Gabun wrote on Twitter.
“My window smashed, I am all shaking! Everybody says that a plane crashed,” Twitter user Katya Grechannikova reported.
“My windows were not smashed, but I first thought that my house is being dismantled, then I thought it was a UFO, and my eventual thought was an earthquake,” Bukreeva Olga wrote on Twitter.

The Mayak nuclear complex near the town of Ozersk was not affected by the incident, according to reports.
Mayak, one of the world’s biggest nuclear facilities that used to house plutonium production reactors and a reprocessing plant, is located 72 kilometers northwest of Chelyabinsk.
It is believed that the incident may be connected to asteroid 2012 DA14, which measures 45 to 95 meters in diameter and will be passing by Earth tonight at around 19:25 GMT at the record close range of 27,000 kilometers.

 

Photo from Twitter.com user @varlamov

Photo from Twitter.com user @varlamov

Another Tunguska event?

The incident in Chelyabinsk bears a strong resemblance to the 1908 Tunguska event – an exceptionally powerful explosion in Siberia believed to have been caused by a fragment of a comet or meteor.

According to estimates, the energy of the Tunguska blast may have been as high as 50 megatons of TNT, equal to a nuclear explosion. Some 80 million trees were leveled over a 2,000-square-kilometer area.
The Tunguska blast remains one of the most mysterious events in history, prompting a wide array of hypotheses on its cause, including a black hole passing through Earth and the wreck of an alien spacecraft.
It is believed that if the Tunguska event had happened 4 hours later, due to the rotation of the Earth it would have completely destroyed the city of Vyborg and significantly damaged St. Petersburg.
When a similar, though less powerful, unexplained explosion happened in Brazil in 1930, it was named the ‘Brazilian Tunguska.’ The Tunguska event also prompted debate and research into preventing or mitigating asteroid impacts.

 

Still from YouTube video/fed potapow

Still from YouTube video/fed potapow

Still from YouTube video/fed potapow

Still from YouTube video/fed potapow

Photo from Twitter.com user @znak_com

Photo from Twitter.com user @znak_com

 

Photo from Twitter.com user @Frolov_kgn Alexander


Photo from Twitter.com user @Frolov_kgn Alexander

Map

Full article can be found here: http://theintelhub.com/2013/02/15/meteorite-hits-russian-urals-fireball-explosion-wreaks-havoc-over-500-injured-photos-video/

Credit: RT