Knowledge Will Come From the Meteor’s Power
As we all are fully aware by now, from the blazing flash of light that went across our television screens, a meteor came to Earth and hit a location in Russia located 930 miles east of Moscow, in a place that has actually been known to be one of the most important sources of minerals and metals throughout history – the Ural Mountains.
Now many are calling this a tragic event and it is for many reasons. People were harmed by breaking glass, not to mention put in absolute fear from a seismic occurrence. But when it comes to the study of meteorites, this is actually an event that helps the scientific community learn more about our environment.
It was the central city of the Jekaterinburg region that got the ‘brunt,’ so to speak, of this particular event. We are talking about an area of our globe that involves massive business and industry, and plays home to around a million inhabitants. The peaks of the Ural Mountains are certainly not the highest in the world; in fact, they have become an ideal place for hikers and skiers, etc. who wish to do everything ‘outdoorsy’ including trekking, rafting and skiing cross-country.
Environmentalists will tell you that the booming economic development in this area has affected vegetation as well as wildlife over the century. In addition, World War II caused hundreds of factories to be evacuated in Western Russia which actually spawned even more industry to crop up in the Ural Mountains. Many WWII readers and historians can also speak about how tragically damaged the Urals where by the one facility, Mayak, that opened after the War and dumped unfiltered radioactive waste into the surrounding water outlets for ten years.
Although many did, have, and continue to work at studying and containing the radiation, which was one time estimated at exposing 500 millirem per day, it took a long while for the natural environment to be considered safe once again. Suffice to say, conservation here is important. The national wildlife parks that have come into being and the nature reserves that are extremely strict, both are part of an area where the oldest mineralogical reserve sits.
Now the news from Moscow on Friday was that the meteor shot across the western Siberian sky and the explosion felt was actually the same force as if it was twenty atomic bombs the size of Hiroshima going off simultaneously. And in a area of one million people, it was actually surprising that no more than 1,100 people were injured and, thankfully, no deaths reported.
The pre-data came from NASA when they estimated that the meteor was approximately bus-sized and weighed around 7,000 tons, but the fireball that continues to play on all of our screens is extremely dramatic.
However, what many scientists will also inform you of, is the fact that researching this will benefit the natural world. Meteoritics is a form of research that is all about finding the truth, learning from it, and being able to see that information help the environment. Reason being is because we are better able to understand how the earth, itself, first came into being. Not to mention, be able to understand the balance of all things when it comes to nutrients available as well as wildlife.
One of the areas that will be studied comes from pre-solar grains; this is the material which gives scientists the opportunity to understand Earth’s ‘parent stars,’ and get a better idea of the history of our galaxy, not to mention the ‘deliveries’ of extraterrestrial matter to Earth over time. From fossil meteorites and micrometeorites found in sediments, to terrestrial impact craters, the research and the findings can be monumental.
Pre-solar grains, for a little background in this area, are actual minerals that are older than anything you can find in our solar system. These grains actually came into being before the solar system did and they survived in the nooks and crannies, so to speak, of primitive asteroids and comets. By discovering these, we look at our history and how our natural world came into being.
The career of Astrophysics involves a great deal of research, as well, and over time these professionals have been able to discover and announce a great deal of never-before-known data about our galaxy, and what elements were used in order to create Earth. The pre-solar grains are such a small surviving entity, that to be able to improve our understanding and find a balance that would create an environment and habitats that would make it so no endangered species list was even necessary, would be a true triumph.
When it comes to the meteorite, you are certainly talking about a far larger chunk of scientific material. Asteroids and comets fell to Earth and brought a great deal of data with them. The only thing we are truly grateful for this time around is the fact that even though it fell and formed its eventual crater, no catastrophes of life (as of this writing) have been reported.
When it comes to the crater, itself, groups in the geoscientist realm will be able to study and learn far more about how extraterrestrial material affected our environment. Many organizations, schools and teams have gotten together with scientists from around the globe to find contemporary interstellar dust and more, in order to do these all-important studies. What these various elements can add to our understanding of the ‘building blocks of life’ is just one benefit, seeing as that we can also form a collaboration between all countries with no regards given to religion and/or politics.
The shockwave did shatter windows but the biggest shocks may be yet to come. With every new ‘event’ comes the possibility that we can get a handle on our past and utilize that data to better our environment in the future!