Researchers at Lund University studied marine sedimentary rocks that accumulated meteorites for 500 million years and found that all of these meteorites originate from one limited area in the asteroid belt, according to the Daily Mail. But what this place is is unclear. Scientists have also found that the process that ejects asteroids has been stable for the past 500 million years.
In search of a variety of material for study, the researchers visited different parts of the world: California, Sweden, China, Russia. After the rock samples were collected from each site, they were placed in hydrochloric acid. The remains contained grains of chrome spinel, a mineral commonly found in meteorites.
The homeland of asteroids is considered the main asteroid belt - the area of space between Mars and Jupiter. According to NASA, scientists are aware of the existence of more than 1 million asteroids, but many of them have not yet been identified. A piece of an asteroid or comet is called a meteoroid. Entering the Earth's atmosphere, it turns into a meteor - a fireball or a shooting star. The pieces that reach the ground are called meteorites.
It is widely believed among scientists that the flow of micrometeorites and meteorites falling to the Earth can be described using a cascade collision model. However, after examining more than 10,000 kilograms of rocks, Swedish scientists were unable to find a known event that could have been the source of the collisions.
Understanding the origin of meteorites is important because it helps to better understand how the solar system formed, as well as to predict possible threats to humanity in the future.
The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.