Loading 3D model
This is the oldest object you will ever touch. It is made of small spheres (chondrules) clumped together in the early solar system, about 4560 million years ago. The Earth would have originally formed from material like this.
Can you see a ‘crust’ on its surface? When this meteorite entered the atmosphere, it was icy cold (less than -200 ⁰C) but was travelling at a speed of up to 70 km/s. Within a few seconds , friction with the atmosphere heated its surface to boiling point, forming the melted crust. By the time the meteorite hit the Earth a minute or so later, most of the heat had been conducted inside the object, so it was only just warm to the touch.