Search for meteorite that fell on Abu Dhabi begins
The 3-centimetre rock could reveal information about the history of our Solar System – if it can be found
Astronomers are searching for the remains of a fireball that fell from the sky into the Abu Dhabi desert.
The meteorite is believed to have landed south of Al Wathba after being captured on camera by Abu Dhabi’s Astronomy Centre.
Meteorites can contain grains of stardust older than our solar system and hold information about its formation and the geological history of the Earth, Moon and stars.
But it will not be easy to find the remains of last Tuesday’s fireball, thought to be a meteorite of one to three centimetres in diameter and weighing between two and 10 grams.
Abu Dhabi astronomers narrowed down the landing site to a desert area of about 15 square kilometres in the south-east of the emirate.
“It’s very important to find this meteorite but, to be honest, the difficulty is finding something with a diameter of one to three centimetres in a very large area,” said Mohammed Shawkat, the director of the International Astronomy Centre in Abu Dhabi.
“It seems it could have fallen near a road so this could make our task easier. We plan to look and hopefully we will find it.”
The meteor was caught on camera at two Abu Dhabi stations about 7.40pm on March 5.
It entered the Earth’s atmosphere at a speed of 18 kilometres a second and probably caught fire at an altitude of 95km over the camel farming region of Qoa and Umm Al Zamoul.
Updated: March 11, 2019 02:28 AM