Alien Rock Formations Found at Ancient Meteor Site in Scotland

Friday, 15 December 2017 - 10:43AM
Science News
Friday, 15 December 2017 - 10:43AM
Alien Rock Formations Found at Ancient Meteor Site in Scotland
< >
Image credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons
Meteors are always exciting.

At first, they give a pretty light show, as they streak across the sky, exploding in a ball of fire before crashing down to the ground. Then, they become a subject of fascination for geologists, who are eager to learn the mysteries of other planets by studying these meteors and the kinds of rock that they're made of.

Sometimes, this analysis can even take place on alien space rocks that have been on our planet for a very long time.

Sixty million years ago, a large meteor struck the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Now, scientists are finally taking a closer look at the crash sight, and at the fragments of rock that have integrated into the local environment, and are finding forms of minerals that don't occur naturally on our planet.

According to geologist Simon Drake:

Opening quote
"The most compelling evidence really is the presence of vanadium-rich and niobium-rich osbornite. Neither of these have ever been found on Earth before. We have these minerals totally enclosed in native iron, which itself is not of this planet."
Closing quote

While vanadium-rich osbornite doesn't occur naturally on planet Earth, it has been observed before, by NASA's Stardust spacecraft, which found a similar mineral in the trail of a comet all the way back in 2004.

There is evidence to suggest, then, that the minerals that are being found on the Isle of Skye are far more common occurrences elsewhere in the solar system.

What's more, the meteor goes some way to potentially explaining the volcanic activity on the small island.

The Isle of Skye is covered in volcanic rock, and Drake, along with his scientific partner, Andy Birbeck, now suspect that the explosive arrival of an extra-terrestrial visitor is possibly what kicked off—or at least helped along—a volcanic eruption.

While it's possible that the Isle of Skye experienced an eruption prior to the arrival of this meteor, it's more likely that it was only after the explosive crash that the mountain began to belch forth lava and smoke, creating new rock that covers the area to this day.

The scientists are now looking at a wider area across the northern Atlantic in an effort to find similar meteor sites. It's possible that much of the shape of that sector of the Northern Hemisphere was caused by the effects of meteor collisions that could have kicked off natural phenomena like earthquakes, tidal waves, and volcanic eruptions.

A lot more research will need to be done before this is confirmed, but it does look suspiciously like some alien minerals and rock formations could hold the key to understanding the development of planet Earth over the last 60 million years.
Weird Science
Science News