How an ultra-rare mineral called Reiditeis formed;
What is Reidite & how is it formed, Reidite is an ultra-rare mineral, that only forms when meteorites slams into the Earth, just recently it has been discovered for the sixth time, that’s how rare it is, six times on the a planet our size…
Reidite is formed when meteorites hit the earths crust with such force the pressure caused, transforms the mineral zircon into Reidite, this piece was found in drill core sample, from the buried Woodleigh impact crater, in Australia, where researchers are working to find out if crater’s diameter is greater than 100km..
This extremely rare mineral that only forms when rocks from space slam into the earth’s crust with immense pressure, was found in Western Australia, the sixth discovery in the world so far, Curtin University geology student Morgan Cox was working on her thesis and testing drill core samples from the buried Woodleigh impact crater, near Shark Bay, that had been stored in a shed since 2001 when she spotted reidite., it is the first time the mineral has been discovered in Australia, the rare metal forms when meteorites hit the earth with enough pressure to transform the common mineral zircon. Curtin University geology student Morgan Cox was working on her thesis and testing drill core samples from the buried Woodleigh impact crater, near Shark Bay, that had been stored in a shed since 2001 when she spotted reidite
Senior research fellow Aaron Cavosie said it was a microscopic mineral and all of the known occurrences on earth would probably amount to the size of a grain of rice.
‘It’s such an uncommon mineral. It’s always a chance discovery,’ Dr Cavosie told AAP.
The research team is now using numerical modelling to refine the size of Woodleigh, and if its diameter is greater than 100km, it will be the largest-known impact crater in Australia.
The crater is buried below younger sedimentary rocks, so its size is not known and remains hotly debated.
‘Previous research estimated the size of the impact crater between 60km and more than 120km in diameter,’ Ms Cox said.
However, our discovery of reidite near the base of the core suggests a larger crater.’
Impacts that cause craters bigger than 100km in diameter are big enough to cause mass extinctions.
The Chicxulub crater in Mexico, which was caused by an impact believed to have killed off the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, is 180km in diameter.
The research team is now using numerical modelling to refine the size of Woodleigh, and if its diameter is greater than 100km, it will be the largest-known impact crater in Australia
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SPACE ROCKS?
An asteroid is a large chunk of rock left over from collisions or the early solar system. Most are located between Mars and Jupiter in the Main Belt.
A comet is a rock covered in ice, methane and other compounds. Their orbits take them much further out of the solar system.
A meteor is what astronomers call a flash of light in the atmosphere when debris burns up.
This debris itself is known as a meteoroid. Most are so small they are vapourised in the atmosphere.
If any of this meteoroid makes it to Earth, it is called a meteorite.
Meteors, meteoroids and meteorites normally originate from asteroids and comets.
For example, if Earth passes through the tail of a comet, much of the debris burns up in the atmosphere, forming a meteor shower.
Dr Cavosie said the research team would also try to narrow down the age of Woodleigh, which is estimated to have been made 360 million years ago.
He said he hoped Ms Cox would inspire others to study geology.
‘She’s a superstar of a student,’ Dr Cavosie said.
‘Not many years ago, Morgan was in a high school class and here she is making a major discovery.
‘You can make tiny observations and make huge discoveries.’ Reidite has been found in craters in the US, Germany and China, ultra-rare mineral discovered in Australia reveals buried site of ancient meteorite impact