The Winchcombe meteorite, appropriately called after the Gloucestershire town where it landed, is an extremely unusual type called a carbonaceous chondrite. It is a stony meteorite, abundant in water and raw material, which has actually maintained its chemistry from the formation of the planetary system. Initial analyses showing Winchcombe to be a member of the CM (” Mighei-like”) group of carbonaceous chondrites have actually now been officially authorized by the Meteoritical Society.
STFC offered an urgency grant in order to assist money the work of planetary scientists throughout the UK. The funding has allowed the Natural History Museum to invest in state-of-the-art curation facilities to preserve the meteorite, and likewise supported time-sensitive mineralogical and natural analyses in professional laboratories at several leading UK organizations.
A picture of among the pieces of the Winchcombe meteorite. Credit: Trustee of the Natural History Museum
Dr. Ashley King, a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellow in the Department of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum, said: “We are grateful for the funding STFC has actually provided. Winchcombe is the first meteorite fall to be recuperated in the UK for 30 years and the first-ever carbonaceous chondrite to be recuperated in our nation. STFCs funding is aiding us with this special chance to discover the origins of water and life in the world. Through the financing, we have been able to buy modern devices that has added to our analysis and research into the Winchcombe meteorite.”
The meteorite was tracked using images and video footage from the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll), a partnership between the UKs meteor camera networks that includes the UK Fireball Network, which is funded by STFC. Pieces were then quickly situated and recuperated. Considering that the discovery, UK scientists have been studying Winchcombe to understand its mineralogy and chemistry to discover how the Solar System formed.
Dr. Luke Daly from the University of Glasgow and co-lead of the UK Fireball Network, stated: “Being able to examine Winchcombe is a dream come true. A lot of us have actually spent our whole professions studying this type of rare meteorite. We are likewise associated with JAXAs Hayabusa2 and NASAs OSIRIS-REx objectives, which aim to return beautiful samples of carbonaceous asteroids to the Earth. For a carbonaceous chondrite meteorite to fall in the UK, and for it to be recovered so rapidly and have a known orbit, is a really special occasion and a fantastic opportunity for the UK planetary science neighborhood.”
Funding from STFC enabled researchers to quickly start the look for signs of water and organics in Winchcombe before it might be contaminated by the terrestrial environment.
Dr. Queenie Chan from Royal Holloway, University of London added: “The teams initial analyses verify that Winchcombe consists of a wide variety of natural product! Studying the meteorite only weeks after the fall, prior to any considerable terrestrial contamination, implies that we truly are peering back in time at the active ingredients present at the birth of the planetary system, and discovering how they came together to make worlds like the Earth.”
A piece of the Winchcombe meteorite that was recovered during an organized search by the UK planetary science neighborhood is now on show and tell at Londons Natural History Museum..
Image of the fireball in February 28, 2021. Credit: UK Meteor Observation Network
Scientists are set to uncover the secrets of a rare meteorite and potentially the origins of oceans and life on Earth, thanks to Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) financing.
Research study performed on the meteorite, which fell in the UK earlier this year, suggests that the area rock go back to the start of the Solar System, 4.5 billion years earlier.
The meteorite has actually now been formally classified, thanks in part to the STFC-funded research studies on the sample.
Winchcombe is the very first meteorite fall to be recovered in the UK for 30 years and the first-ever carbonaceous chondrite to be recuperated in our nation. The meteorite was tracked using images and video footage from the UK Fireball Alliance (UKFAll), a cooperation between the UKs meteor camera networks that includes the UK Fireball Network, which is funded by STFC. Considering that the discovery, UK researchers have been studying Winchcombe to understand its mineralogy and chemistry to find out about how the Solar System formed.
Dr. Luke Daly from the University of Glasgow and co-lead of the UK Fireball Network, said: “Being able to investigate Winchcombe is a dream come true. For a carbonaceous chondrite meteorite to fall in the UK, and for it to be recovered so quickly and have a known orbit, is an actually special occasion and a fantastic opportunity for the UK planetary science neighborhood.”