What is Ureilite?

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What is Ureilite? Blog Image


In a recent discovery, a collaborative team of scientists from Allahabad University and the University of Bern, Switzerland, revealed that the Dhala crater resulted from the collision of an exceptionally rare and ancient meteorite, known as Ureilite.

About Ureilite:


  • ‘Ureilites’ are a rare class of primitive meteorites that constitute just a tiny fraction of meteorites on Earth.
  • It is named after the locality where the first specimen was discovered, the Novo Urei village in Russia.
  •  Composition:
    • They consist of silicate rock, mostly olivine and pyroxene, interspersed with less than 10% of carbon (diamond or graphite), metal sulphides and a few fine-grained silicates.
    • They contain elongated cavities generally stretched in the same direction.
    • Lack of Chondrules: Unlike many other stony meteorites, ureilites do not contain chondrules, which are small, spherical grains that formed in the early solar system.
  • Primitive Nature: Ureilites are considered primitive meteorites because their composition closely resembles the material from which the solar system formed.


Key Facts about Dhala Crater:

  • It is the oldest and the largest impact crater in India. 
  • It is estimated to have formed some 2500 million years ago.
  • Named after the village Dhala, the crater is an eroded leftover of the original impact structure.
  • Location: It is located in Shivpuri district in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Size: It is a massive 11 km in diameter, making it the largest in Asia.


What’s the difference between a meteor, a meteoroid, and a meteorite?

  • Meteoroids: They are objects in space that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids.
  • Meteors: When meteoroids enter Earth’s atmosphere (or that of another planet, like Mars) at high speed and burn up, the fireballs or “shooting stars” are called meteors.
  • Meteorite: When a meteoroid survives a trip through the atmosphere and hits the ground, it’s called a meteorite.


Q) What is an impact crater?

An impact crater is a bowl-shaped depression or cavity formed on the surface of a celestial body, such as a planet, moon, asteroid, or comet, as a result of the high-velocity impact of a meteoroid or other celestial object. Impact craters are some of the most common geological features found on many solid bodies in the solar system, and they offer valuable insights into the history and geology of those bodies.


Source: Meteorite created Madhya Pradesh's famous Dhala impact crater, new study reveals