An asteroid which made its landfall in Mukundpura village near Jaipur has been named after the same village and is under the study of Geological Survey of India, Kolkata.

  • The meteorite named Mukundpura CM2 was classified to be a carbonaceous chondrite.
  • This is a type of stony meteorite, considered the most primitive meteorite and a remnant of the first solid bodies to accrete in the solar system.
  • The composition of carbonaceous chondrites is also similar to the Sun.
  • Chondrites are silicate-droplet-bearing meteorites, and this Mukundpura chondrite is the fifth carbonaceous meteorite known to fall in India.

Details of its study

  • The study revealed that Mukundpura CM2 had experienced varying degrees of alteration during the impact.
  • Some minerals like forsterite and FeO olivine, calcium aluminium rich inclusion (CAI) minerals escaped alteration.
  • Few magnetites, sulphides and calcites were also found.
  • Detailed spectroscopic studies revealed that the meteorite had very high (about 90%) phyllosilicate minerals comprising both magnesium and iron.
  • Further X-ray studies showed it also had aluminium complexes.

Why it is important to study meteorites?

  • Meteorites are representative of asteroids.
  • Asteroids are the remnant debris of the inner solar system formation process and thus offer the formation history or the building blocks of the planets.
  • Therefore, by studying meteorites in the laboratory and asteroids by exploration and sample return mission we try to reconstruct the activity of early solar system events.
  • Also, asteroids are often rich in volatiles and other minerals and can be exploited for future planetary exploration.

Relevance to asteroids

  • The results of the Mukundpura CM2 study are relevant to the surface composition of near-Earth asteroids Ryugu and Bennu.
  • In October 2020, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission collected samples from Bennu and is expected to return in September 2023.
  • Last month, Japan’s Hayabusa-2 mission landed on Earth with samples from Ryug

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