Click For Photo: https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/hkvGgMzyuGL2acPdVZ8ndM-1200-80.jpg
Rocky was napping in a doghouse in Costa Rica on April 23 when a small meteorite punctured the roof. The dog was unharmed, but couldn't hope to match scientists' interest in fetching the stray meteorite.
That's because Rocky's space rock was just one piece of a clay-rich meteorite that crashed to Earth over the town of Aguas Zarcas in Costa Rica. Clay-rich meteorites are scientifically fascinating, preserving water-rich minerals from beyond Earth. But they're also fragile: Rain can cause this type of meteorite to fall apart. Hence scientists' enthusiasm over Rocky's sample and other fragments of the meteorite, which they estimate was about the size of a washing machine when it entered Earth's atmosphere.
Environment - Free - Life - Cold - Vacuum
"It formed in an environment free of life, then was preserved in the cold and vacuum of space for 4.56 billion years, and then dropped in Costa Rica last week," Laurence Garvie, a curator at Arizona State University's Center for Meteorite Studies, said in a statement. "Nature has said 'here you are,' and now we have to be smart enough to tease apart the individual components and understand what they are telling us."
Meteorite collector Michael Farmer seen in front of Rocky's doghouse, Rocky and a second dog.
Fragment - Aguas - Zarcas - Meteorite - Roof
One fragment of the Aguas Zarcas meteorite fell through the roof of Rocky's doghouse.
A fragment of the Aguas Zarcas meteorite that fell over Costa Rica on April 23, 2019.
Slice - Aguas - Zarcas - Meteorite - Shows
A slice of the Aguas Zarcas meteorite shows different minerals in different colors; for example, tochilinite in yellow and olivine in dark blue.
Samples from the clay-rich Aguas Zarcas meteorite that fell over Costa Rica last month.
Wake Up To Breaking News!