Meteorite older than Earth likely came from a "protoplanet"

The rock, found in the Sahara, likely comes from a long-lost baby protoplanet.

Credit: A. Irving / Public domain
  • Erg Chech 002 is a meteor not like any other ever found.
  • It's older than the Earth, and its composition raises interesting possibilities.
  • The meteor likely comes from an early baby planet in our solar system.
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    This meteorite was here before Earth existed. Here's why it matters.

    This meteorite is the oldest known volcanic rock in the solar system, dated at 4,565,000,000 years old.

    • It's very rare that we discover something on our planet that was around before we were even a small speck. But every once in a while, we do—and this meteorite is a living testament.
    • Scientists estimate the new discovery to be approximately 4.6 billion years old, almost as old as the solar system itself.
    • New discoveries like this one bring us a small step closer in piecing together what an earlier version of Earth might have looked like.
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    Meteorite used as doorstop for decades worth $100,000

    It had a role in that old farmhouse...

    (Photo credit MARTIN BERNETTI/AFP/Getty Images)
    • It landed on a farm near Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1930, and is estimated to be 4 billion years old
    • When the house was sold, it was included in the sale by the farmer who had no idea of its value, but had quite a story about finding it
    • If you see a meteorite fall to Earth and remain at least partially intact, it would be in your best interest to run (or drive, quickly) to find it!
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    King Tut's dagger was fashioned from a meteorite, discover researchers

    Technically, the knife's metal had extraterrestrial origins.

    Pharaoh Tutankhamun, the boy king who ruled Egypt around 1332-1323 BC, has known his share of fame in a world thousands of years after his life. And the fame is sure to grow as an exciting new discovery set the international media on fire. A team of Egyptian and Italian researchers just published a paper showing that King Tut's beautiful dagger, already an object of admiration and mystery, turns out to have been made from a meteorite.

    Yes, he had a space dagger.

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