A spinel is the footprint of sorts that remains long after the meteorite is gone. Formed in a meteorite’s decomposition, a spinel is a tiny mineral about the size of a grain of sand. These spinels survive harsh weather, many chemical assaults, and exist where ever in history a meteorite dared to strike.
Meteorites only hang around for about 20,000 or 30,000 years but spinels remain. AND spinels will tell the researchers what sort of meteorite they originated from. In his hunt, Schmitz and his Swedish colleagues have taken to dissolving thousands of rocks in acid. This is all in hopes of locating the footprint wherever it may hide and gaining a new geological record because of the world usually can only record specific meteorites and not the history of them going back 100’s of thousands of years. Once all the locations for the finds are marked then the history according to the climate change and other events can be overlaid and if there are any commonalities, the causation can be researched.
As always when considering the science of any one investigation or research I look to the bigger and smaller picture. In the large window I see possible effects that may have been not only for the negative but perhaps we can learn positive ones that we can now act out! In the case of negative events, forewarned that a certain occurrence triggers an event can bring out preventative measures. For the smaller picture, I see political parties possibly missing the bigger picture as they claim see, I told you so, wasn’t just the humans that caused climate change! A caution to those who claim that investigating space shouldn’t be a priority, there’s plenty to do on Earth. This could prove, if you are not convinced by the fact that asteroids are a problem, that space DOES hold the answers.Answers to some very Earthly problems. Answers that actually aren’t important for the question asked, but are like knocking down dominos – knock one down and they all fall.