A meteorite that lit up the night sky in the US Midwest in 2018 contains ‘pristine’ organic compounds that may offer clues to how life formed on Earth, according to researchers (via the Independent). It was spotted by motorists and others in several states after producing a fireball and loud explosion on January 18, 2018. Thanks to some quick thinking and action, the rocks were quickly in the hands of researchers before they could be contaminated.
Less than two days after it streaked across the sky, meteorite hunter Robert Ward found the first piece resting on the frozen surface of Strawberry Lake near Hamburg, Michigan. He was able to pinpoint the location by using NASA’s weather radar, as the meteorite chunks were similar in size to hail. He quickly got it to the Field Museum in Chicago, where curator Philipp Heck quickly set about studying it.