Evidence of a comet entering Earth’s atmosphere, about 28 million years ago [fr]

On October 8th 2013, the University of Witwatersrand has revealed the latest result of one of its researches, identifying for the first time the remains of a comet, which exploded entering Earth’s atmosphere about 28 million years ago.

Examining a mysterious little black pebble found in 1996 by an Egyptian geologist inside a piece of silica glass, the team of researchers is confident in displaying “the first comet nucleus ever known, rather than an unusual type of meteorite”.

This is “the first proof a comet truly did entered Earth’s atmosphere and exploded”, emphasizes the University. The pebble, weighing 30 grams, had an “alien component”, containing 65% of carbon while meteorites generally contain only 3%.

Comets are very old small bodies coming from the edge of the solar system. To study them gives privileged access to the formation of the solar system as well as to the apparition of life on Earth.

This discovery was the result of a partnership with French and Italian researchers. The French team particularly participated in the spectroscopic study of the fragments.

To know more, read the article on Wits’ website.

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publie le 18/10/2013

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