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California Meteor Broke Speed Record

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rapid recovery proved critical—the researchers’ analysis found notable differences between samples recovered just two days after atmospheric entry and those found a few days later, after heavy rainfall. The rainwater reacted with sulfurous compounds in the meteorite, partly overwriting its original chemical makeup. The rapid alteration of meteorites by terrestrial water, the researchers conclude, “probably erases many vestiges of the internal and external process on the asteroid” and may mean that carbonaceous asteroids are more complex in composition than had been thought.

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