(ORDO NEWS) — The Algerian meteorite Erg Chech 002 has characteristics that scientists have never encountered before. It is a fragment of a small planet that was in the process of formation, and it is older than planet Earth. What else is known about the meteorite found in the desert and why is it called “emerald”?
Although the size of this meteorite is large, and its weight reaches 30 kilograms, the Algerian scientific institutes did not receive it for research.
The Algerian desert still hides the secrets of our universe, like meteorites. The latest such discovery was the Erg Chech 002 meteorite, discovered last May in the Erg Chech region of the Algerian province of Adrar. It became the object of international research, and scientists soon came to the conclusion that the new meteorite was older than Earth.
Erg Chech 002 is over 4 billion years old, according to a study published in the American journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in its latest March issue. In other words, it appeared a million years earlier than the oldest previously discovered meteorite. In addition, it has a different chemical composition.
According to the results of the study, the new meteorite appears to have unique features: it is a fragment of a small planet that was in the process of forming. This process was not completed, since the planet collided with an asteroid, but the meteorite found can be considered proof of the existence of the disappeared planet.
The researchers attributed the found meteorite to the group of achondrites. According to the Meteoritical Bulletin Database, there are 3,179 such meteorites in the world, but Erg Chech 002 has characteristics that scientists have never encountered before.
Algerian cosmologist Sharif Shabu from Ferhat Abbas University in Setif was one of the first to talk about this meteorite in a telephone conversation with Al Jazeera. He noted: “I was one of the first to report this finding in July last year, and this is the last meteorite found in Algeria. Even then I said that he keeps many secrets. ”
Sharif Shabu is considered one of the most prominent meteorite specialists in Algeria. Erg Chech 002 was nicknamed emerald because it is composed of a green mineral, and was quickly registered by The Meteoritical Society in July 2020, he said. Erg Chech 002 is one of the largest meteorites found in Algeria, and its weight reaches 30 kilograms.
For her part, Moroccan explorer Husna al-Shennawi of Hassan II University in Casablanca noted in an email to Al Jazeera: “The information scientists have received from this meteorite is unique and very significant. Such objects play an important role in the development of scientific knowledge about planets at the international level. ”
When asked about the absence of Arab researchers in international research groups, especially from countries where meteorites were found, our interlocutor replied: “In international laboratories there are no restrictions on the participation of foreign scientists.”
She added, “The opposite has to happen. Scientists from countries where these meteorites have been found need to develop their research skills and make a name for themselves. The world’s scientific research standards are well known and laboratories include only the most prominent foreign experts on their teams. ”
Not in Algeria
In this regard, cosmologist Sharif Shabu raised the problem of illegal obtaining of such meteorites by international laboratories. “When the last meteorite was announced and registered by the Meteorite Community, the object was divided among many laboratories, and therefore I await the publication of the results of other studies,” the expert said.
Shabu added: “According to the information I have, 5 more performances are being prepared regarding the found meteorite. The data will be presented by the world’s leading researchers in this field during the 52nd Planetary Science Symposium, which will be held from March 15 to 19 in the American city of Houston. ”
In conclusion, our interlocutor noted: “Although the size of this meteorite is very large, and the weight reaches 30 kilograms, Algeria did not get anything from it.”
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