A Meteorite That May Be Older Than Earth

The Australian Outback find could offer insights into the origins of the solar system.

As a 3.7-pound meteorite plunged to Earth in late November to a remote spot in the Australian Outback, it was captured by Australia’s Desert Fireball Network, a series of 33 autonomous cameras spread across the continent. The same camera observations used to calculate the fall positions also calculated the meteorite’s solar system orbit, putting its origin somewhere beyond Mars. The meteorite was retrieved on New Year’s Eve following a three-day recovery operation that ended with digging the rock out of a lake bed by hand, mere hours before heavy rains would’ve wiped away any trace of the impact site. At about 4.5 billions year old, it may be older than Earth.