Scientists from the University of Lund (Sweden) have reconstructed the process of meteorite falling on our planet over the past half billion years. According to the article, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the large collisions that took place in the asteroid belt did not greatly influence the number of asteroid collisions with the Earth. This refutes one of the generally accepted theories.
The authors of the project dissolved about 10 tons of sedimentary minerals from the bottom of ancient bodies of water in acid to isolate grains of chromium oxide. This substance is of meteoritic origin. In the end, scientists were able to analyze traces of nearly 10,000 different meteorites.
“We found that only one of the seventy largest asteroid collisions in the last half a billion years resulted in an increase in the intensity of the meteorite flow to which the Earth is exposed. That is, asteroid belt collisions do not have much effect on the meteoric flow that affects our planet,” the researchers say.
Thousands and tens of thousands of meteorites fall to Earth every year, most of which burn up in the planet’s atmosphere. The main source of meteorites is the asteroid belt that exists in the solar system between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This is where large celestial bodies collide, resulting in the formation of many smaller asteroids.