Center for Meteorite Studies

For decades, meteorite researchers have pondered the circumstances resulting in the many ordinary L chondrites found on Earth – almost 25% of all meteorites recovered.  While it's been known for some time that the L chondrite parent body broke up approximately 470 Ma ago, likely due to impact with another large object, new research on fossil meteorites from a Swedish quarry may now shed some light on the second body involved in this cosmic collision. 

To date, 101 fossil meteorites have been found preserved in the quarry's Ordovician marine limestone, 100 of which are L-chondrites.  One meteorite, however, is much different:  It appears to be a piece of a previously unknown type of primitive achondrite, similar to winonaites, and meteorticists theorize that this unusual meteorite could be a fragment of the impactor that broke up the L-chondrite parent body 470 Ma ago.

Fossil meteorite in Swedish Ordovician limestone (from Schmitz et al, 2001, EPSL, fig. 3, p.4).

Fossil meteorite in Swedish Ordovician limestone
(from Schmitz et al, 2001, EPSL, fig. 3, p.4).

See photos of the fossil meteorites here, and read an interview with the study's authors here!  Read the full paper here!


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