Scientists discover 3 million year old "cosmic pearls" from meteorite impacts in Florida fossilized shells
- Researchers found microtectites digging sediments in fossilized shells
- These unusual tiny glass beads were perfectly spherical. In contrast to grains of sand
- the analysis indicates that they are of extraterrestrial origin and originate from the ancient meteorite.
Fossil shells dredged from a quarry in the US state of Sarasota, Florida, may contain 3 million year old remains of undocumented meteorite impacts.
Researchers have discovered dozens of unusual glass beads dot antique shells, each of which is a "tiny, perfect sphere".
A recent discovery study suggests that these beads are particles known as microtectites that form when molten debris from a meteorite cools and recrystallizes after passing through the Earth's atmosphere.
Researchers have found dozens of unusual glass beads on the antique shells, each of which is a tiny perfect ball. "The researcher's analysis is likely to be the remnant of one or more meteorite impacts that occurred millions of years ago near the Florida platform.
The team from the University of South Florida encountered microtectites as they sifted through sediments trapped in fossil shells from the quarry.
For years, however, nobody knew what they were.
"They really stood out," said Mike Meyer, who discovered the microtectites in 2006 during his university studies at University of South Florida.
grains of sand are lumpy, potato-shaped things. But I found these tiny, perfect bullets again and again. "
The 83 unusual pearls were in a box for more than a decade before Meyer looked at them again and restricted their origins to being extraterrestrial.
They are probably the remnants of one or more meteorite impacts that occurred millions of years ago near the Florida platform.
Shells are known to be good sources of ancient material as they close and protect their contents over years of sediment accumulation.
"In clams like these we find whole crabs, sometimes fish skeletons," says Roger Portell, director of invertebrate paleontology at the Florida Museum of Natural History. 19659009] There is more to learn about the mysterious objects – the researchers say they were found in four different layers of the quarry, each associated with a specific period of time.
The University of South Florida team came across the microtectites as they searched sediments trapped in fossil shells from the quarry. However, for years nobody knew what they were
The team suspects that these objects are about 2 to 3 million years old.
And unlikely Other shocks contain large amounts of sodium – a material that is normally lost when it is burned by the atmosphere.
"This high sodium content is intriguing, as it suggests a very close location for impact," Meyer said. "Or, whatever its effects, it probably hit a very large reservoir of rock salt or the ocean. Many of these indicators point to something near Florida. "
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF ROOM ROCK?
A asteroid is a large boulder left over from collisions or early sunlight system. Most are located between Mars and Jupiter in the main belt.
A comet is a rock covered with ice, methane and other compounds. Their orbits lead them further out of the solar system.
A Meteor is what astronomers call a flash of light in the atmosphere when debris burns.  This rubble itself is known as Meteoroid . Most are so small that they are vaporized in the atmosphere.
When one of these meteorites reaches Earth, it is referred to as Meteorite .
] Meteors, meteoroids and meteorites are usually from asteroids and comets.
For example, when the earth crosses the tail of a comet, much of the debris burns in the atmosphere, creating a meteor shower.