Chinese meteorite field likely to be world's largest
October 14, 2016
Experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences confirmed on October 13 that
the meteorite-strewn field in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region is likely
the world's largest.
According to a report by Xinhua News Agency, the field of meteorites stretches
to an estimated 425 kilometres, 150 kilometres larger than the Gibeon
meteorite shower in Namibia.
The shower has been named Altay, after the region in which it landed.
First discovered in 1898, the 28-tonne Armanty meteorite was originally
thought to be isolated, until the 430-kilogramme Ulasitai meteorite was
discovered 100 years later.
However, Shanghai Daily reports that it was not until 2011 that a third
- the 5-tonne Wuxilike - was found that scientists noticed that all three
were in a line stretched across 425 kilometres.
"This suggests that the meteorites were all from the same parent asteroid
before it separated as it entered the Earth's atmosphere," said Xu Weibiao,
meteorite curator with the observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
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