The largest meteorite in history fell on Earth in 1916: why it hasn't been found ever since

By SSPDailyMar 18, 2024 20:11 PMNews
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The largest meteorite in history fell on Earth in 1916
The largest meteorite in history fell on Earth in 1916. Source: the-sun.com

In 1916, an iron stone weighing 4.5 kilograms was found in Africa. SSPDaily learned more about this anomaly. It was believed to be part of a 100-meter-wide mountain: a giant meteorite. Since then, numerous searches have been carried out, but it has not been possible to find this parent body and confirm its existence.

This is reported by Science Alert.

A group of researchers set out to put the matter to rest.

The problem is that if such an iron mountain existed, it would be the largest meteorite on the planet. That's why scientists from Imperial College London and Oxford University want to use magnetic anomaly maps to try to find the meteorite's impact site.

A 2001 study showed that a fragment of stone-iron mesosiderite could not have been part of a meteorite measuring more than 1.6 meters across.

The researchers say that the lack of an impact crater can be explained by the low angle of the meteorite's flight. In addition, previous missions might not have found the iron mountain as it could be hiding under a layer of sand, and the tools for searching were imperfect.

Interestingly, French consular official Gaston Ripert described the features of the iron hill in detail. The captain said that he found elongated metal needles that he tried unsuccessfully to remove with blows from its stone.

Scientists believe that these were nickel-iron phases known as "Thomson structures". In 1916, they were not yet known and it is unlikely that Ripert invented them.

Using the height of the dunes that could have hidden the giant meteorite as a guide, the team identified areas of interest and requested aeromagnetic survey data from the Mauritanian Ministry of Petroleum Energy and Mining. However, they have not yet been given access to this data.

As a reminder, an asteroid over 360 meters in size flew near the Earth, but its distance to our planet was greater, namely 5.35 million kilometers.

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