Meteorite flux has changed in deep time – First experimental results published in Nature Astronomy

In February 2017 we published the article Rare Meteorites Common in the Ordovician Period in Nature Astronomy.  This the first empirical reconstruction of variations in the meteorite flux to Earth in deep time. We show that the meteorites falling  on Earth in the Ordovician period one million years before the L-chondrite parent body breakup were very different from todays meteorites.  We show that primitive achondrites that are extremely rare in today’s flux were one of the most common types of Ordovician meteorites. The article was accompanied by a News and Views item “Meteorites: A shift in shooting stars” by Francesca DeMeo at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US. Our article received much media attention,  reaching an altmetric value in the top 99th percentile.

The article in Nature Astronomy can be found here 2017-Nature Astronomy.pdf, and the accompanying News and Views item here: DeMeo.pdf.

Doing astronomy by “looking down, instead of up”. Fredrik Terfelt collects some of the 270 kg of Ordovician rock from which the micrometeoritic spinels grains for the Nature Astronomy paper were recovered. The Lynna River section in the St. Petersburg region of Russia.