In 2008, Sudan ‘received’ a set of 600 asteroid fragments when the 2008 TC3 space rock exploded. The collision had been precisely anticipated by scientists, who were able to collect a vast array of space rocks when they arrived on Earth. Now, a team of researchers concludes that one of these fragments originated on a dwarf planet unknown until now and that it will have already been destroyed.
Planetary geologist Vicky Hamilton led the team in a new round of analysis, which focused on a sample of 50 milligrams. The AhS 202 set was polished and viewed under infrared microscopes and revealed the presence of an extremely rare hydrated crystal that should not be part of the 2008 TC3 and that does not exist in other similar meteorites. The researchers conclude that this fragment could only have originated in a dwarf planet the size of Ceres, which is about 940 kilometers in diameter, reports the Reuters.
In theory, knowing that the community has not lost track of any planet of this dimension in the inner Solar System, everything indicates that the dwarf planet will have disappeared, probably collapsed some time ago.
Scientists also suggest that the collection of fragments, known as Almahata Sitta, may contain traces of other similar planets that may also have disappeared, and may give clues about some unknown phases of the geological history of the Solar System, celestial bodies that gravitate around the Sun and of which the Earth is a part.