‘Hypatia’ Stone Contains Compounds Not Found in the Solar System

By Jay Bennett

The Hypatia stone is only a few centimeters across, broken into pebble fragments, but it may very well be the most interesting rock in the world.

Named for Hypatia of Alexandria, the first prominent Western woman astronomer and mathematician, the colorful rock was found in 1996 in western Egypt by Aly Barakat, a geologist working for the Egyptian Geological Survey. Barakat was studying Libyan desert glass, which appears to be similar to sea glass from the ocean, except geologists believe it might have formed roughly 28 million years ago in a meteorite impact.

Barakat immediately recognized the unique significance of the glossy stone, lined with microscopic diamonds, and he suspected that it did not come from Earth. In 2013, geologists studying the Hypatia stone confirmed the rock was of extraterrestrial origin. Unlike any known meteorite, researchers originally believed the Hypatia stone was the first sample of a comet nucleus.

Read the full article at Popular Mechanics.

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