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Meteorite in Brandenburg – Rare O'Bright discovery inspires science

Meteorite in Brandenburg – Rare O'Bright discovery inspires science

It was a special kind of celestial spectacle when an asteroid entered the atmosphere on the night of January 21 and burned up in a fireball over Brandenburg. Scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and employees from the Natural History Museum in Berlin searched for the remains. Jorn Hilbert, head of the planetary laboratories at the German Aerospace Center, told Deutschlandfunk channel that dark, black and charred rocks are expected to appear. But they found gray stones, “like light granite.” “More than 20 walnut-sized pieces” were found. In a statement from DLR about the discovery. This was a “really big surprise” to the researchers because it was a rare type of meteorite called an operite. There are only 12 confirmed cases so far. By the way, they're called Aubrite after the former location of Aubres in France.

Jörn Hilbert explained that the meteorite that burned over Brandenburg was fragments of a larger body that had broken up at some point in the solar system. The actual mother body of the Brandenburg Operetta has not yet been identified. But the composition – very small amounts of iron and titanium and a lot of sulfur – is almost exactly the same as that of mercury. That's why science is now facing the “very hot question”: Does the planet Operetta come from Mercury? Hilbert says this will now worry researchers.

This message was posted on February 7, 2024 on Deutschlandfunk.

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