Following the explosion of an asteroid over the Nubian desert a handful of years ago, researchers have been studying bits and pieces that were harvested from that event. With these, a big discovery has been made: an asteroid from long ago contained active volcanoes.
Amongst the pieces of debris that were gathered and studied, a tiny chunk revealed the big history of the asteroid. Titled ALM-A, this piece of meteorite is full of silica-harboring minerals, which researchers say could only be the result of lava cooling at fast rates.
Other debris lead to a more expansive idea of what went down, and the history of this celestial body. The original asteroid is believed to be the Ureilite Parent Body, which researchers say had volcanoes. The UPB crashed into something at some point in its existence, throwing off debris.
This debris eventually formed into the asteroid 2008 TC3, which later broke up over our planet, dropping pieces of the universe’s history across our land. Said the University of Munster’s Addi Bischoffa, “We found rocks were being produced by volcanism on small asteroids just six-and-a-half million years after the formation of the first solid material in the solar system … I would have thought that these kinds of rocks could only have formed much later, on larger bodies like Earth.”