February 23, 2024

Science – Treasure from space: Researchers assume discovery of meteorite – Knowledge

Nawin (dpa) – The atmosphere of the gold rush in Brandenburg: It is likely that a team of gold collectors from Poland found pieces of a small asteroid that recently fell. This was seen on Sunday near Berlin with a stunning fireball visible from afar and called 2024 BX1.

According to experts, the discovery near Nawin in Haviland, which was genuine after initial examination, initially resembled the proverbial needle in a haystack. But then there were more discoveries that are now being examined.

“It is very, very likely that it is a meteorite, and it is the first discovery of these remains from the asteroid that burned up here,” Ansgar Grischak, curator of the meteorite collection at the Nature Museum in Berlin, told Deutsche Press. an agency. “This is indeed a special discovery.” It belongs to the Aubrites group. “This material is very rare.” The find looks very fresh, and the black rind is shiny.

It was found in the strewn field near Ribbeck

According to the Natural History Museum, a four-person research team from Poland found the fragments. The newspaper “Spiegel” was the first to talk about this. The discovery lies in the so-called scattering field, which the researchers calculated after the asteroid burned up. “We assume that this was a stroke of luck and that it is one of the largest pieces found in the sparse field,” said geologist Lutz Hecht of the Museum für Naturkunde. The whole thing is a big buzz for research, because everything from the impact to the status of the discovery can be well documented.

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Museum researchers and their partners, including the Free University of Berlin and the German Aerospace Center, then found many of the stones themselves. The museum said they discovered suspected fragments of the asteroid, both about the size of a walnut. During the next few days, the pieces will be examined in the museum’s laboratories to determine their composition and origin. Collectors from Poland like to sell their finds – and this can be very profitable, especially if it is an unusual find.

The small asteroid 2024 BX1 burned up near Berlin on Sunday evening. The fireball can be seen from a distance in the sky. The US space agency NASA announced this on Sunday morning near Neynhausen in Haviland, west of Berlin. Meteorites are pieces that reach Earth from an asteroid.

Joy about discovery

The small asteroid was the subject of many comments on social media. Then several curious people made their way to Haviland. A team from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), the Natural History Museum and the Free University of Berlin have been searching for meteorites since Sunday. DLR was pleased with the discovery.

“This is of course excellent news,” said Jörn Hilbert, head of the Planetary Laboratories Department at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) in Berlin. “Now that the first pieces have been found, we are sure that we will find more very soon.” He's looking forward to examining such a fresh meteorite. “We are currently working on the exact classification,” Hilbert said. “Depending on the type of meteorite, there may be strong connections to our currently active space missions.”

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This is not the first time that fragments of small asteroids have been found. For example, a fireball lit up over Elmshorn in the state of Schleswig-Holstein at the end of April 2023. Shortly thereafter, pieces of the meteorite weighing from a few hundred grams to several kilograms were found.

Back to Brandenburg: After the group of Polish collectors presented their find on Friday, the search for more stones continued. “Back to work,” one team member said.

There is also hope that Brandenburg will be immortalized in the name of the asteroid known so far only as 2024 BX1. “Ribbeck” is a favorite because of the locations, he said at a press conference.

© dpa-infocom, dpa:240126-99-759116/8