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Ivuna meteorite

1938-12-16

The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum

Two essential building blocks for life are water and organic compounds (molecules made of carbon and hydrogen). These are found wherever there is life on Earth, as well as in meteorites such as Ivuna.

This makes the meteorites vitally important in unravelling the origins of life on Earth - they could even tell us about life on other planets. Some theories suggest the elements for life arrived on Earth in meteorites.

Ivuna is also the type specimen of the very rare CI class of meteorite. CI meteorites are extremely rich in volatile components that are easily lost when they come into contact with the atmosphere.

Fortunately, the Ivuna meteorite has been kept in a sealed nitrogen environment ever since it fell in 1938, protecting it from Earth's atmosphere and making it invaluable for research.

Find out more about how the solar system was born >
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Details

  • Title: Ivuna meteorite
  • Date: 1938-12-16
  • Location: Ivuna, Tanzania
  • Subject Keywords: Origins of the Solar System
  • Age: 4.6 billion years

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