At the Geological Survey Institute in Rajasthan, scientists are excited about a six kg meteor that landed near two shepherds in a small village in Chittorgarh district on August 29.

Each year, about 500 meteors reach the earth, but only five or six of these actually reach the hands of scientists for scientific studies.

Usually meteors that land on the surface of the earth are stony meteors. It's only in 8 per cent of the cases that scientists find a meteor made up of iron and nickel like this one.

"The meteor is exciting because of its rarity. If I go to sell it in the international market, I will get $1 billion. This is rarer than gold and diamonds," said Dinkar Srivastava, Director Petrology Department, Geological Survey of India.

Solar system

Scientists are especially interested in the study of meteors because they are made up of matter that originally went into the making of our solar system 4.5 billion years ago.

This particular meteor is believed to have broken away from the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

"From this, we can study the minerals that went into the making of our solar system. From where this meteor has come, man cannot even dream of reaching there," said Dr R S Goyal, Director, Geological Survey of India.

The Geological Survey of India is now contacting international institutes so that space scientists from all over the world can study the meteor, which perhaps carries with it many secrets of our solar system.