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NASA Scientists Are Left Uneasy After Uncovering A New ‘Object’ From Space


Earth is just a tiny speck in the universe. In the grand scheme of things, we have seen almost nothing when it comes to the universe around us. Currently, NASA is trying to change that through investigation, observation, and analysis. Even though NASA experts are the top in their field, they don’t always recognize the things that they find. NASA scientists are left uneasy after uncovering a new ‘object’ from space.

The Size Of Our Planet

The circumference of the Earth is just under 25,000 miles. This seems pretty big, but when you put it into perspective, it doesn’t really seem that large. The Earth is part of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is much larger. The diameter of the galaxy measures 150,700 light-years, which dwarfs our home planet. Based on the size of the Milky Way, it is clear that we don’t know what lies beyond our world. When you think of the Earth, you think of something enormous in size. When you compare it with the entire universe, it makes you wonder what else is out there? What have we still not discovered? Many scientists have dedicated their whole lives to finding the answers to these questions.


In 2011, a meteorite named Khatyrka landed in the Koryak Mountains of eastern Siberia. The landing site was very remote, and scientists made their way to Russia to investigate. Because meteorites come from outer space, they have a significant scientific value. Each impact crater offers scientists an opportunity for discovery. According to astronomers, it is like Christmas morning when a meteorite hits the ground. In 2011, scientists didn’t find what they expected. It wasn’t a massive meteorite. They found a few shards of interstellar material. What was inside the meteorite that landed left scientists baffled. What they were seeing inside this huge meteorite goes against everything that they initially believed.

The Sample’s Age

The oldest meteorite ever discovered dates back over four billion years. The newest ones come from the moon, and they are said to be around three billion years old. When the scientists examined the interstellar sample, they found some abnormalities. They discovered that something was structurally unusual. It was different than a traditional meteorite, and under the microscope, it looked much different. They also found crystals that were of great significance.


A regular and predictable atomic structure defines crystals. The lattice patterns are created over and over again, which creates a crystal’s glass-like material. The crystal that was found within the meteorite was different. This crystal didn’t consistently repeat the lattice structure. Instead, the connections create uneven patterns that are unlike anything ever found on Earth.


What they found within the meteorite were quasicrystals. Scientists since the 1960s have created these crystals, but they have never been found in nature. Many researchers believed that quasicrystals couldn’t exist outside of a lab, and this discovery proved that theory to be wrong.

Paul Steinhardt

Paul Steinhardt is a theoretical physicist and a cosmologist at Princeton University. He has always believed that quasicrystals could occur naturally, and this meteorite gave him the chance to confirm his hypothesis. When he and his team looked at the particles in the crystal from the newly discovered meteorite, he noticed something very bizarre. The ratios of oxygen isotopes to other isotopes were way off. This helped Paul and his team realize what they were looking at. It was a new mineral that was no created on Earth. Paul believes that the crystals were created in a high-pressure environment of outer space before it crashed down in Russia.

Partially Correct

The discovery of the quasicrystal proved that Paul was partially right. Although the crystals weren’t formed on Earth, they are capable of existing in nature. For Paul, this was a major scientific breakthrough. Paul believes that the finding is essential evidence that quasicrystals can form in nature under astrophysical conditions, and it also provides evidence that this paste of matter can remain stable for billions of years.

More Work

Paul and his team managed to recover a few more samples of the meteorite, which gave them two more examples of these interstellar quasicrystals. He believes that these discoveries, which have proven part of his hypothesis correct, is a fantastic find. He never expected to see something like this in his life.

An Exciting Find

This discovery of this meteorite and its crystals is just proof that there is so much about the universe that we don’t know. Only time will tell what we find next from outer space, and what it will tell us about the universe. Scientists continue to study outer space as much as possible so that we can learn a bit more about the mysteries behind what is out there beyond our planet.

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