California meteorite a scientific gold mine

Sutter’s Mill rock preserves rare, fresh material from outer space

7:01pm, December 20, 2012

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.

This article is available only to subscribing members. Join SSP today or Log in.

More from this issue of Science News