Meteorites are not uncommon. In fact, we are in the midst of one of the greatest meteor showers of the year, the Perseids. While these streaks of frozen balls light up our skies with immense heat, it is a rarity to experience one land in your backyard. This specimen is said to be valued more than gold and might just hold the building blocks of life. The wonder of this discovery meets the excitement felt for those who were lucky enough to find the fallen rock.
This is what happened on the night of April 23, last spring, when Maria Campos Munoz heard a loud pang in her backyard. Grabbing one of the biggest fragments, the meteorite was still warm from the touch as it had just fallen from a heated atmosphere.
Campos Munoz experienced a rare find that attracted the attention of journalists within the same night. While there are 60,000 classified meteorite specimens, celestial falls are a lot less common. Only about 1196 have been documented.
Among this small number of space rocks, which makes this particular meteorite so special is its molecular structure. At first glance, this rock looks pretty dull, but to a trained eye, there is a lot to uncover.
According to Science Mag, Aguas Zarcas, as the fragments would soon collectively be called, is a carbonaceous chondrite, a pristine remnant of the early Solar System. True to its name, this meteorite contains a rich amount of carbon material that serves as the building blocks of protein.
“We’re not detecting life itself, but the components are all there,” says Daniel Glavin, an astrobiologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
Some scientists claim this kind of material is the foundation of what brings life into being and might possibly have boosted its birth when crashing into Earth 4.5 billion years ago.
This celestial body has fallen onto our plane offering new perspectives toward the building blocks of life. For those who enjoy collecting rocks, prices for this specimen surpass $50 to $100 per gram, surpassing the price of gold. Nonetheless, there is no price to be put on the value and building blocks of life.
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