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December 21 2012

California meteorite called rare, speedy

DAVIS, Calif., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A meteorite that lit up the sky over California last spring was fast, rare and traveled a highly eccentric orbital route to get to Earth, scientists say.

A 70-member international team has published its findings in the journal Science about the cosmic object that created a fireball over the Sierra foothills in Northern California.

The meteorite that fell April 21 was a carbonaceous chondrite, the rarest type known to hit Earth, and was made up of of cosmic dust and presolar materials that helped form the planets in the earliest age of the solar system, they said.

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