Facts for Prelims (FFP)
Context: A recent study suggests that Madhya Pradesh’s famous Dhala impact crater was created by an extraordinarily rare and ancient meteorite known as Ureilite.
About the meteorite:
Meteorites are extra-terrestrial rocks or metallic objects that survive their journey through Earth’s atmosphere and land on the planet’s surface. They originate from asteroids, comets, or other celestial bodies in space.
What are Ureilites?
These are a rare class of primitive meteorites that consist of silicate rock with olivine and pyroxene, along with less than 10% of carbon, metal sulphides, and fine-grained silicates.
The Ureilite that created the Dhala crater was approximately one kilometre in diameter and crashed into Earth’s atmosphere at an extraordinary speed of 15 km/s about 2500 to 1700 million years ago.
Significance: With this discovery, scientists hope to uncover more secrets about the rare meteorite crater and its potential role in Earth’s early history, including its impact on bringing water to the planet and the development of life.
- The Dhala crater is Asia’s largest and the world’s seventh-largest impact crater.
In India, three meteor impact craters are found:
- Ramgarh in Rajasthan
- Lonar in Maharashtra
- Dhala in MP