icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
1 May, 2020 10:34

Heads up! More than 16,000kg of EXTRATERRESTRIAL MATERIAL blasts Earth every year, study reveals

Heads up! More than 16,000kg of EXTRATERRESTRIAL MATERIAL blasts Earth every year, study reveals

Groundbreaking fresh research has revealed that Earth is under constant assault from the heavens with 16,000kg of space material raining down on our planet every year.

A team of UK scientists went to Antarctica to hunt for meteorites in order to work out how often Earth is battered by space projectiles. It turns out that it happens all the time, as their calculations revealed that more than 16,000kg of meteorite material with a mass above 50g wallops the planet each year. 

When smaller material is included, the figure rockets up to a staggering total of 40 million, but this is mostly made up of fine space dust that couldn’t cause any damage.


Most of the space detritus had a mass of between 50g and 10kg when it struck the ground. Larger lumps were much less frequent but, because they could cause serious damage, they weigh heavy on the minds of the experts.

The study comes hot on the heels of a group of researchers in Turkey claiming to have proof of the first credible records of a meteorite killing someone.

Also on rt.com ‘Death by meteorite’: Turkish researchers claim to have proof of world’s first space-rock fatality

Antarctica is a hotbed for finding meteorites, largely because they stand out more against the white backdrop. The research team led by Dr Geoff Evatt, a mathematician at the University of Manchester, combed an area near the Shackleton mountain range in East Antarctica, and then created a global estimate by creating a mathematical model that accounts for variations in latitude. 

The model revealed valuable new data that will feed into future risk assessments for larger space material battering Earth. Interestingly, the number of meteorite strikes at the north and south poles is only about 60 percent of what you would expect at the equator. This explains why long-term contingency facilities, such as the Global Seed Vault, are safer at higher latitudes.

The research was published in the journal Geology this week.

Also on rt.com Out of this world: 1st extraterrestrial protein found INSIDE a meteorite, study claims

Like this story? Share it with a friend!