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Thu Oct 10, 2019, 11:11 AM

'Cosmic Mudball Meteorite' Smells Like Brussels Sprouts, Finds New Home at Museum

'Cosmic Mudball Meteorite' Smells Like Brussels Sprouts, Finds New Home at Museum
By Mindy Weisberger - Senior Writer 5 hours ago Space

It smells as good as it looks.


It looks like a block of mud and smells (some say) like pungent vegetables. Nonetheless, the latest addition to the collection at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago is a wondrous thing a visitor from across the cosmos that fell to Earth earlier this year as a meteorite.

This piece of the so-called cosmic mudball meteorite dubbed Aguas Zarcas, for the region of Costa Rica where it landed weighs about 4 lbs. (1.8 kilograms). Unlike many rocky or metallic meteorites, it has a distinctive aroma that is somewhat like that of cooked Brussels sprouts, Field Museum representatives said in a statement.

This odor comes from organic compounds such as amino acids. Billions of years ago, malodorous meteorites like this were likely what seeded Earth with the building blocks for life, and Field Museum scientists will study the smelly space rock for clues about the materials that shaped our solar system, according to the statement.

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'Cosmic Mudball Meteorite' Smells Like Brussels Sprouts, Finds New Home at Museum
By Mindy Weisberger - Senior Writer 5 hours ago Space

It smells as good as it looks.






Don't let its humble appearance fool you; this so-called mudball meteorite holds important clues about how life began on Earth.Don't let its humble appearance fool you; this so-called mudball meteorite holds important clues about how life began on Earth.(Image: Copyright Field Museum, photo by John Weinstein)
It looks like a block of mud and smells (some say) like pungent vegetables. Nonetheless, the latest addition to the collection at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago is a wondrous thing a visitor from across the cosmos that fell to Earth earlier this year as a meteorite.

This piece of the so-called cosmic mudball meteorite dubbed Aguas Zarcas, for the region of Costa Rica where it landed weighs about 4 lbs. (1.8 kilograms). Unlike many rocky or metallic meteorites, it has a distinctive aroma that is somewhat like that of cooked Brussels sprouts, Field Museum representatives said in a statement.

This odor comes from organic compounds such as amino acids. Billions of years ago, malodorous meteorites like this were likely what seeded Earth with the building blocks for life, and Field Museum scientists will study the smelly space rock for clues about the materials that shaped our solar system, according to the statement.

Aguas Zarcas fell to Earth on April 23, blazing across the skies over Costa Rica's Alajuela province as a spectacular fireball, The Meteoritical Society reported. The meteorite broke apart during entry; one fast-moving piece weighing about 41 ounces (1,162 grams) smashed into a house, and another fragment weighing around 10 ounces (280 g) struck a doghouse, according to the report.

More:
https://www.livescience.com/mudball-meteorite-smells-like-brussels-sprouts.html

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