Billions-year-old meteorite goes on display at ASU - New York News

Billions-year-old meteorite goes on display at ASU

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TEMPE, Ariz. -

A piece of history goes on display at ASU. And not just any history -- we're talking about something that's 4-to-5 billion years old.

"So this particular rock is really interesting."

It may not look like much, but if this meteorite could talk, it would have quite a story to tell because of how old it is.

"When our solar system formed 4 and a half billion years ago this rock was formed at that time and it incorporated some of the materials that were around at this time, and some of these materials that were incorporated in this rock are even older than our solar system so they even pre-date our sun," says Meenakshi Wadhwa, director of ASU's Center for Meteorite Studies.

She believes this rock holds a lot of secrets inside because of what it's made up of.

"They're the oldest materials in our solar system and it's the only way that we can understand something how our planet originated and possibly how life originated."

The meteorite fell last year in California, breaking apart as it entered earth's atmosphere.

"In space it was probably about the size of a minivan but by the time it was collected, probably less than 2 pounds total weight."

What was left was cut into five pieces, with one of the pieces going to ASU. The school is gaining more and more recognition for its Center for Meteorite Studies.

"We have the world's largest meteorite collection than any other university in the world and this is a point of pride for ASU. Of course it should be for Arizonans," says Wadhwa.

The best news of all is you can see it in person. The meteorite will be on display at the center for all to see.

Related story: ASU named 1of 5 US institutions to share meteorite pieces

Online: meteorites.asu.edu

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