Mysterious yellow glass in Egyptian desert used by King Tut what created when asteroid struck the Earth

  • Glass found in the Egyptian desert was created by a meteorite impact
  • It originally thought that the glass was caused by an atmospheric airburst
  • Researchers examined grains of the mineral zircon in samples of the glass
  • Zircons in the glass preserved evidence of the former presence of a high-pressure mineral named reidite, which only forms during a meteorite impact

Glass found in the Egyptian desert was created by a meteorite impact around 29 million years ago, unraveling a riddle almost a century in the making.

Researchers believe the Libyan Desert Glass is scattered across the Saharan desert in Egypt and Libya formed at asteroid exploded in the Earth's atmosphere.

Glass forms naturally when molten material cools so fast that the molecules can not settle into an ordered structure, like a crystal.

The glass has been found in ancient jewelery, including a scarab carved from the material which features in pectoral jewelery buried beside Tutankhamun.

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Glass found in the Egyptian desert was created by a meteorite impact around 29 million years ago, unraveling a riddle almost a century in the making. Researchers believe the origin of the so-called Libyan Desert Glass scattered across the Saharan desert in Egypt

Glass found in the Egyptian desert was created by a meteorite impact around 29 million years ago, unraveling a riddle almost a century in the making. Researchers believe the origin of the so-called Libyan Desert Glass scattered across the Saharan desert in Egypt

Previous studies have claimed that the tiny greenish-yellow fragments were caused by an atmospheric air burst when asteroids, or Near Earth Objects, explode and shoot particles through the Earth's atmosphere.

They say the resulting airblast would have washed over the Egyptian desert, dumping vast amounts of heat into the sand.

The researchers, from Curtin University in Australia, examined the tiny grains of the mineral zircon in samples of the glass, which is located over several thousand square kilometers in western Egypt.

Zircons in the glass preserved evidence of the former presence of a high-pressure mineral named reidite, which only forms during a meteorite impact.

"Aaron Cavosie, from Curtin University, who led the study.

'Both meteorite impacts and airbursts can cause melting, however, only meteorite impacts create shock waves that form high-pressure minerals.'

Mr Cavosie said that he found that he was the result of a meteorite impact.

The idea that the glass may have emerged during a dramatic event over Russia in 2013.

Glass forms naturally when molten material cools so fast that the molecules can not settle into an ordered structure, like a crystal. The glass has been found in ancient jewelery, including a scarab carved from the material which features in pectoral jewelery buried beside Tutankhamun

Glass forms naturally when molten material cools so fast that the molecules can not settle into an ordered structure, like a crystal. The glass has been found in ancient jewelery, including a scarab carved from the material which features in pectoral jewelery buried beside Tutankhamun

Previous studies have claimed that the tiny greenish-yellow fragments were caused by an atmospheric air burst when asteroids, or Near Earth Objects, explode and shoot particles through the Earth's atmosphere. Pictured, the Coffinette for the Viscera of Tutankhamun

Previous studies have claimed that the tiny greenish-yellow fragments were caused by an atmospheric air burst when asteroids, or Near Earth Objects, explode and shoot particles through the Earth's atmosphere. Pictured, the Coffinette for the Viscera of Tutankhamun

The researchers, from Curtin University in Australia, examined the tiny grains of the mineral zircon in samples of the glass, which is located over several thousand square kilometers in western Egypt

The researchers, from Curtin University in Australia, examined the tiny grains of the mineral zircon in samples of the glass, which is located over several thousand square kilometers in western Egypt

The airburst caused extensive damage to human beings but did not cause surface material to melt.

'Previous models suggested that Libyan desert glass be presented in a large, 100-megatonnes (mt) class airburst,' said Mr Cavosie.

Meteorite impacts are catastrophic events, but they are not common.

'Airbursts happen more frequently, but we do not expect to see a Libyan desert glass-forming event in the near future, which he says for some comfort,' he said.

The findings could help scientists understand the potential threat posed by potential asteroid strikes.

The findings were published in the journal Geology.

WHO WHAT KING TUTANKHAMUN AND HOW WHAT HIS TOMB DISCOVERED?

The face of Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, and ruled between 1332 BC and 1323 BC.

The face of Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, and ruled between 1332 BC and 1323 BC. Right, his famous gold funeral mask

Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, and ruled between 1332 BC and 1323 BC.

He was the son of Akhenaten and took to the throne at the age of nine.

When he became king, he married his half-sister, Ankhesenpaaten.

He died around the age of 18 and his cause of death is unknown.

In 1907, Lord Carnarvon George Herbert asked English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter to supervise excavations in the Valley of the Kings.

On 4 November 1922, Carter's group found the steps to be Tutankhamun's tomb.

He spent several months cataloging the antechamber before opening the burial chamber and discovering the sarcophagus in February 1923.

When the tomb was discovered in 1922 by archaeologist Howard Carter, under the patronage of Lord Carnarvon, the media frenzy that followed was unprecedented.

Carter and his team took 10 years to clear the tomb of its treasury because of the multitude of objects found within it.

For many, Ancient Egypt's Glory performs because its tomb was packed with glittering wealth from the rich 18th Dynasty from 1569 to 1315 BC.

Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass (3rd L) supervises the removal of the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun in his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in 2007.

Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass (3rd L) supervises the removal of the sarcophagus of King Tutankhamun in his underground tomb in the famed Valley of the Kings in 2007.

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