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Not from Earth..Unlock the mystery of the mysterious pieces of glass in the Atacama Desert in Chile

Far away in Chile’s Atacama Desert, shards of glass scatter along a 75-kilometre gorge. These strange pieces of glass take on various shapes to appear as if they were folded and wrapped in some way. It varies between coarse and smooth as well, as it is formed in the form of large plates that can reach a width of approximately 50 centimeters.

The meteor explosion hypothesis

in a study New published in the journal Geology on November 2, researchers from Brown University, Rhode Island in the United States collected more than 300 samples of desert glass.

The university issued a press release about the study, in which it stated that the scientists examined the samples under an electron microscope, and analyzed their chemical composition using the spectroscopy technique, and found that the results unequivocally indicate that the glass is not entirely from the planet Earth.

Those scattered pieces of glass caught the attention of scientists a decade ago. One of the first hypotheses explained that it was caused by a large meteor explosion in the atmosphere, which caused fragments of hot fiery space rocks to fall on the desert floor and they immediately dissolved in the sand.

Similar mysterious glass remains have been found in many locations around the world. In many cases, the hypothesis of meteorite eruptions is the most plausible explanation for why glass has reached these places.

However, this does not mean that space meteorites are the only cause. Several hypotheses also state that the Atacama glass shards were caused by natural surface fires, in a different era and climate when the desert was covered with more abundant vegetation.

Glass Shards and the Great Extinction

according to a report Planetary geologist Peter Schultz, emeritus professor at Brown University, said that this is the first time “we have clear evidence of glass on Earth caused by thermal radiation and winds, coinciding with an explosion”. A fireball directly above the ground.

The researchers found that the minerals in the glass – called zircon – had decomposed to form the mineral “baddeleyite”, which requires very high temperatures of more than 1,670 degrees Celsius, which is much higher than forest fires.

The Atacama Desert in Chile, South America, stretches in the form of a 966-kilometre long strip parallel to the Pacific Ocean (Getty Images)

Even stranger, those shards of glass contained thousands of strange mineral grains, including cubanite, a type rarely seen on Earth; It is only found in meteorites and other rocks outside the planet Earth.

It was previously identified by NASA’s Stardust mission, which collected samples from Comet Wild 2 in 2004.

The researchers believe that more research must be conducted to find out if the meteor air explosion has anything to do with the disappearance of megafauna in South America, which itself coincided with the arrival of ancient hunters in the region and climatic changes, in addition to its overlap with the timing of the meteor explosion as well.

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Reference-www.aljazeera.net

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