Californication: Meteorite Troubles

Recently, near Sutter’s Mill, California, The town credited for starting the historical California Gold Rush, A meteorite was found. Like the California Gold Rush before, This meteorite has triggered a similar Scientific rush for one of the youngest, most unique space rocks around. This specific Meteorite happens to be very carbon rich, or, Carbanaceous Chondrite.  These specific rocks are believed to have brought water to earth in the early stages.

This meteorite is said to contain information about the early ages of the solar system. This is extremely important for researching  things such as extraterrestrial life. Such a rock could be great for the research of American scientists. This Meteorite is said to be pieces broken off of a different meteorite that is approximately 3 yards across. Scientists think that this meteorite’s origin is somewhere in the Jupiter-Mars asteroid belt. Meaning that it would have rotated across the same star up to three times! American meteorite researchers and scientists like Peter Jenniskens   are excited to learn more about this meteorite and where exactly, it came from.

Scientists think that the wonderful asteroid that struck Sutter’s Mill California on April 22, 2012, could have at one point weighed 40,000 kilograms. A total of 77 pieces of this meteorite have been found all around California! Scientists say that finding 1kg of meteorite in the ground, is fairly common. The same scientists, like Peter Jenniskens say that when this meteor hit the ground, it could have made an explosion the equivalent of 4 kilotons of TNT. Wow! A meteor, making an explosion about ¼ the size of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima!

The sutter’s mill meteorite took place during the lyrids shower of 2012.

Some Questions to ponder… 

  • How often is there a meteorite shower in the U.S?
  • What are meteorite pieces worth in today’s market?
  • What does it mean to have a meteorite that is more carbon rich than others?


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