16 tonnes of extraterrestrial matter fall on our planet every year

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — A team of British researchers went to Antarctica to look for meteorites and to determine the quantity arriving on Earth. According to their study, more than 16 tonnes of “extraterrestrial matter” land there each year.

A meteor shower constantly falls on our planet , without our knowing it. A study by British researchers indicates that 16 tonnes of extraterrestrial rocks land there each year. They also sought to determine in which part of the globe these falls were the most frequent.

“The vast majority of these objects that touch Earth are very small,” commented BBC Geoff Evatt, study author and mathematician at the University of Manchester. “We are talking about objects which, when they touch the ground, weigh at least 50 grams. Their mass varies between 50 grams and 10 kilograms. Larger rocks are extremely rare”.

If the smaller rocks were included in the calculations, the total mass of extraterrestrial matter on Earth could reach 40,000 tonnes, but the majority is just space dust that causes no damage.

Latitude differences

The researchers went to Antarctica to collect data on the impacts in the region, which are easier to detect on a white background. The team then established an overall estimate using a mathematical model taking into account variations in latitude.

In fact, another discovery from the study, published on April 29 in the journal Geology, concerns the flow of meteorite falls by geographic area. Thus, there is an additional 12% chance that a large meteor will land near the equator. Conversely, the probability is reduced by 27% for the poles.

Death by meteorite

The study comes a week after the discovery of scientists from Turkey and the United States of a death by meteorite fall , in 1888 in Iraq. The manuscripts of an Ottoman Turk of the time evoked a fireball seen in the sky, the fragments of which killed one man and paralyzed another.

In 2013, the famous “Chelyabinsk meteorite” lit the Russian sky for several seconds. If she hadn’t killed anyone, she had caused injuries and property damage due to the shock wave.

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