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The California Meteorite Rush

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Meteorites are highly sought after by researchers because their chemical compositions can yield tremendous insight about their host asteroids and comets, as well as the early solar system. On April 22, 2012, a minivan-sized meteor streaked across the sky over California and Nevada. The ensuing search for meteorite fragments near a California site called Sutter’s Mill revealed that this was a CM-type carbonaceous chondrite—an extremely rare meteorite containing amino acids and traces of early life. Science News Writer Emily Underwood describes the hunt for these precious fragments and explains what is so unique about this find.

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