Science

NASA to explore meteorite fragments in the Pacific Ocean

A huge and peculiar meteorite bumped down on the surface of the Earth and submerged into the Pacific Ocean on 7th March 2018. This glaring meteorite, bolide was then observed by Marc Fries, a planetary scientist of NASA, who stated that it fell somewhere in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Fries, the Cosmic Dust Curator at the United States space agency, said at that time that this meteorite was as big as a typical golf cart, which reduced into numerous fragments that are estimated to weigh near about two tons taken together.

Now, around 4 months later, Fries along with a team of marine scientists have planned to take these chunks of meteorite out of the ocean. Fries said that such an activity has not yet been performed but it would be worth it. He claimed that these meteorite fragments are quite different. The researcher explained, “This one is special. This one is tougher than your typical meteor.”

This meteorite fall is the biggest that Fries witnessed using weather radar. Unlike the other meteorites, this meteorite reportedly had space rocks, which did not crack, break, and burn in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, to understand this celestial object completely, the researchers have to rescue fragments of it from under the ocean for further analysis.

The team of researchers analyzed the radar information captured by the NOAA NEXRAD system and by the seismometers positioned on land as well as under the ocean and concluded that the impact region was around 0.4 square miles (about 1 sq. kilometer). The investigations even pointed out that the largest meteorite chunks could most expectantly weigh around 9.7 pounds (4.4 kilograms) with a width of almost twelve centimeters (4.7 inches).

For this mission, NASA has collaborated with the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) and would reportedly use its flagship Nautilus exploration vessel for hunting the meteorites.

This mission of meteorite exploration would reportedly be headed by Dr. Nicole Raineault, the Vice-president of Exploration and Science Operations for the Ocean Exploration Trust. The mission would use “deep sea robots” known as Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) for scanning the ocean bed.

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