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Scientists trace meteorite origins
Posted: Thu, Mar 26, 2009, 6:26 AM ET (1026 GMT)
Meteorite from asteroid 2008 TC3 (Carnegie) Planetary scientists have for the first time linked an asteroid observed before it entered the Earth's atmosphere to meteorite fragments found in Africa. The car-sized asteroid, 2008 TC3, was discovered just a day before it entered the Earth's atmosphere and exploded over Sudan, just long enough for astronomers to take spectra of the asteroid. Meteorite hunters later found 47 fragments in northern Sudan thought to be linked to the asteroid. Lab studies of the meteorites found they contained large amounts of "graphite like" carbon, unlike other meteorites studied. The high amount of graphite suggests the asteroid was subject to high levels of heating, perhaps from impacts. Scientists hope further analysis of the meteorite will allow them to better match asteroid spectra with their physical properties.
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