King Tut's Dagger Was Made From a Meteorite

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King Tut's Dagger Was Made From a Meteorite

Ever since King Tutankhamun's mummy was discovered in 1922, archaeologists and historians have been fascinated by the many objects preserved in his burial chamber, not least of which was a dagger found folded into the pharoah's wrappings. It inspired plenty of study due to its ornate gold handle and especially its iron blade, which was an unusual material for knives of the time. For a 2016 study, scientists used X-ray fluorescence spectrometry to analyze the blade, and found that its iron, nickel, and cobalt composition was of extraterrestrial origin: it matched a meteorite that had hit the ground in northern Egypt. This is astonishing enough before you note that the new discovery also lines up with an ongoing hieroglyphics mystery: while ancient Egyptian texts had long used one hieroglyphic to refer to iron, around the 13th century B.C.E. -- a short time after King Tut's rule -- a new symbol began appearing next to it that changed its meaning to "iron of the sky." This could mean that the ancient Egyptians knew about the existence of meteorites more than 2,000 years before Western culture did.

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Key Facts to Know

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    King Tutankhamen's tomb was found intact in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter. 0:16

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    Research has found that a dagger buried in King Tut's tomb was made of meteoric iron. 0:35

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    It's fairly common for ancient artifacts to be made of materials that fell from the sky. 1:35

You Can Now Drink Literal Moon Dust Beer

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You Can Now Drink Literal Moon Dust Beer

According to NASA, 100 tons of space matter enter Earth's atmosphere every day. And now, you can drink some of it in a cold brew. Dogfish Head Brewery has created the first beer that includes real moon dust in the recipe. The company's celest-jewel-ale beer has crushed up lunar meteorites as an ingredient. Before you try ordering this drink next weekend at your local bar, know that this unique beverage is only available at Dogfish Head's brewpub in Delaware. They acquired the moon dust from ILC Dover, a company that makes spacesuits for NASA.

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from Buzz60

Key Facts to Know

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    NASA estimates 100 tons of space matter enter Earth's atmosphere every day. 0:00

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    Dogfish Head Brewery has made a beer that include moon dust. 0:14

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    Dogfish Head Brewery gets moon dust from a company that makes spacesuits for NASA and uses it in beer. 0:46

The Panspermia Theory: Did Life On Earth Come From Space?

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The Panspermia Theory: Did Life On Earth Come From Space?

Scientists know that certain microbes are capable of surviving space travel and conditions on other planets. The theory of panspermia postulates that life on Earth, and on other worlds, may have begun when it arrived on an asteroid, meteorite, or even a deliberately launched object. One proponent of directed panspermia was Francis Crick, who thought that aliens had sent life to Earth. Though panspermia has yet to be proven, some believe that evidence for life has already been found in Martian meteorites.

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Key Facts to Know

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    A small percentage of meteorites that have impacted Earth came from Mars. 3:15

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    Necropanspermia is the idea that organisms needn't be alive after traveling through space and arriving on Earth for their genetic material to influence the evolution of life. 5:34

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    NASA has to meticulously examine its equipment so that it doesn't inadvertently carry microbes into space. 6:55

Meteoroids vs. Asteroids

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Meteoroids vs. Asteroids

Meteoroids are actually small chunks that have broken off from comets, asteroids, or planetary bodies. If one hits Earth's atmosphere and doesn't vaporize completely before landing, then it's called a meteorite. If it does vaporize, then the light and trail it causes are called a meteor—otherwise known as a shooting star.

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Key Facts to Know

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    Meteoroids are much smaller than asteroids, which can stretch for 1,000 kilometers. 0:25

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    Both meteoroids and asteroids are made primarily of rocks and ice, but they can carry rare materials as well. 1:32

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    Meteoroids typically vaporize when they hit the atmosphere, whereas asteroids can cause large impacts. 2:40

Ann Hodges Was Hit By A Meteorite And Survived

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Ann Hodges Was Hit By A Meteorite And Survived

On November 30, 1954, Ann Hodges became the only verified person in history hit by a meteorite. It was a clear day in Sylacauga, Alabama, when a softball-sized meteorite fragment crashed through the roof of her house and struck Hodges during a nap. The meteorite weighed 3.9 kg (8.5 lbs), and because it only grazed her leg after bouncing off a radio, she was not permanently injured.

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Key Facts to Know

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    The meteorite that struck Ann Hodges is called the Hodges meteorite, and it weighs 3.9 kg (8.5 lbs). 0:11

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    In 1954, the Hodges meteorite crashed through Ann Hodges's roof, broke her radio, and struck her on the leg. 0:21

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    After Ann Hodges was hit by a meteorite, there was a dispute over whether it belonged to her or the people who owned the house she lived in. 0:33