Sutter’s Mill rock preserves rare, fresh material from outer space
A meteorite that fell where California’s gold rush began has triggered a similar gold rush for scientists: to study one of the freshest, most unusual space rocks around.
The Sutter’s Mill meteorite turns out to be a rare, carbon-rich type known as a carbonaceous chondrite. Its insides are a jumble of different primitive space materials mashed together in a single rock.
“It’s a real hodge-podge,” says Monica Grady, a meteorite expert at the Open University in Milton Keynes, England. “It tells you that the asteroid it came from has had a very interesting history.” Grady and her co