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A Curtin University researcher has solved a nearly 100-year-old riddle by discovering that glass found in the Egyptian desert was created by a meteorite impact, rather than atmospheric airburst, in findings that have implications for understanding the threat posed by asteroids.
Published in leading journal Geology, the research examined tiny grains of the mineral zircon in samples of Libyan desert glass, which formed 29 million years ago and is found over several thousand square kilometres in western Egypt. Nearly pure silica, the canary yellow glass was famously used to make a scarab that is part of King Tut's Pectoral.
Author - Dr - Aaron - Cavosie - Space
Lead author Dr. Aaron Cavosie, from the Space Science and Technology Centre in Curtin's School of Earth and Planetary Sciences, said zircons in the glass preserved evidence of the former presence of a high-pressure mineral named reidite, which only forms during a meteorite impact.
"It has been a topic of ongoing debate as to whether the glass formed during meteorite impact, or during an airburst, which happens when asteroids called...
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