The Murchison meteorite is a carbonaceous chondrite which fell to Earth September 28, 1969 at 11:00 am, near the town of Murchison, Victoria, Australia. Witnesses described it as breaking into three pieces before it hit the ground and hearing an audible tremor. It is one of the most studied meteorites due to its large size (over 100 kg) and its diverse composition, which includes organic compounds such as amino acids, nucleobases, and hydrocarbons.
The Murchison meteorite is of particular interest to scientists studying the origins of life on Earth because it provides valuable insight into the chemical building blocks that may have been present on the early Earth and contributed to the emergence of life. When studied, Murchison was found to contain a microscopic grain that formed before our own planet and sun. This ‘pre-solar’ grain is estimated at 7 billion years old!