These days, almost every month we read reports of asteroid flybys around our planet. The space rocks heading towards the planet often make news of a doomsday looming over us. Although all space rocks have passed from a safe distance, about 12 years ago, a huge asteroid entered through the earth's atmosphere and exploded over Sudan. Named 2008 TC3, the asteroid lit up the skies in October 2008 and over a cluster of 600 meteorites named Almahitta Sitta showered on the ground. In 2018, rare diamonds were found inside this meteorite. Thus it was refered as diamond asteroid too. Now scientists have examined these mysterious rocks, with their material and there have been some revelations. One of the important ones being the parent asteroid contained water.

Researchers from Southwest Research Institute based in Texas, US analysed the giant asteroid in our solar system of which the meteorites fell. As per NASA's calculations which first spotted the meteorite, it was about 13 foot in diameter and weighed more than 8,200 kg. The team analysed about 50 gms of the sample of Almahata Sitta meteorites under an infrared microscope. They found a unique mineral called the amphibole crystal. This requires prolonged water exposure, so the parent asteroid was also formed in presence of water. Rare Spectacle of Meteorite Flying Across and Exploding in Sky Captured by Musician Amber Coffman in New Mexico, Leave Netizens Amazed! (Watch Viral Video).

Study author Vicky Hamilton of the Southwest Research Institute said to DailyMail report, "Our surprising result suggests the existence of a large, water-rich parent body. The composition of other meteorites points to heating in the absence of water." Almahitta Sitta is named after the location in Sudan above which the space rock exploded in 2008. Currently, asteroid fragments from Japan's Hayabusa2 mission are also being analysed.

The researchers also said that the meteorite belongs to a category of 4.6% of celestial bodies that are found on Earth. It is a type of carbonaceous chondrite stone that has been kept in University of Khartoum in Sudan since 2008. These rocks contains organic compounds, minerals and water.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 28, 2020 02:05 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website