Saturday, March 23, 2019
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help    |   Cookie Policy    |   Privacy Policy    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Oldest Mars meteorite found in the Sahara


Posted on Monday, 25 November, 2013 | Comment icon 6 comments

The meteorite is thought to be 4.4 billion years old. Image Credit: NASA
A rock discovered in the Sahara desert has turned out to be the oldest Martian meteorite ever found.
In the not-too-distant future scientists hope to be able to send a spacecraft to Mars that will be capable of picking up rock and soil samples and returning them to the Earth for study. In the meantime however Mars has obligingly sent a few pieces of rock in our direction for free and one in particular has turned out to be far more interesting than previously believed.

Nicknamed "Black Beauty" due to its dark and glossy appearance, a meteorite originally recovered from the Sahara desert and thought to date back 2.2 billion years has turned out to be much older, dating back up to 4.4 billion years when Mars was in its infancy.

Only around 100 Martian meteorites have ever been found and most of these are relatively recent, dating back only a few million years. By contrast, Black Beauty is able to provide scientists with a unique first-hand glimpse at what Mars might have been like back when it was only 100 million years old.

"The crust of Mars must have differentiated really quickly, rather than gradually over time. There was a big volcanic episode all over the surface, which then crusted up, and after that the volcanism dropped dramatically," said lead author Prof Munir Humayan. "This is a very exciting period of time - if there were to be life on Mars, it would have originated at this particular time."

Source: BBC News | Comments (6)

Tags: Mars, Meteorite

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin on 25 November, 2013, 17:02
Nice find!
Comment icon #2 Posted by paperdyer on 25 November, 2013, 18:47
Yes it is! SyFy will have a movie out based on this shortly.
Comment icon #3 Posted by mumanster on 26 November, 2013, 0:30
How do they know where the rock came from?
Comment icon #4 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 26 November, 2013, 1:36
How do they know where the rock came from? Because it is has a chemical signature consistent with that of Mars.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Sundew on 26 November, 2013, 2:39
How do they know where the rock came from? I'll admit to being ignorant of how sophisticated the instruments are/were on the various probes we sent to Mars. I would assume a mass spectrometer could give you the chemistry of Martian rocks and/or soil and then could be compared to the meteorite sample, just not sure if one was part of the instrument package. Failing that, I would have no idea how they would know with certainty the rock originated on Mars, since we have no physical samples that have been collected from the red planet for comparison. And also, would rocks on Mars necessarily be of... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 26 November, 2013, 3:20
If someone knows the answer or has a link I would be interested. How do we know that these rocks come from Mars?It is more difficult to prove that there are meteorites from Mars because no astronauts or spacecraft have yet brought material back to Earth. But Martian meteorites have clues to their origin buried inside. There are small pockets of glass in these rocks, and trapped inside the glass is gas that has the same composition as Mars' atmosphere. The glass formed when the rocks were ejected from the surface by impact. The shock of the collision melted bits of the rock. The melt cooled ver... [More]


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
New report exposes 'cat cannibalism' research
3-22-2019
A disturbing new report highlights some of the unsavoury animal experiments carried out by government scientists.
45 rattlesnakes discovered under man's house
3-22-2019
A Texas man who recently crawled under his house to fix his cable found rather more than he had bargained for.
Multiple realities can exist at the same time
3-22-2019
A mind-boggling quantum physics experiment has seemingly confirmed the existence of multiple realities.
'Extinct' cougars sighted in North Carolina
3-21-2019
Several people have come forward to report cougar sightings despite the cats being extinct in the state.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Squaring a doughnut
Posted 3-12-2019 | 0 comments
Michael returns with another mind-bending problem - this time concerning squares.
 
Shells of cosmic time
Posted 3-3-2019 | 0 comments
A look at how observations of distant objects enable us to see back in time.
 
Thailand's snake village
Posted 2-26-2019 | 2 comments
Steve Backshall visits a village where the inhabitants live alongside dangerous snakes.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
 
Winter solstice hooded figures
3-6-2019 | Decatur, IL
 
My skinless demon
2-8-2019 | Michigan
 
Johannesburg Men in Black
1-2-2019 | Johannesburg South Africa
 
Giant flash of light
1-2-2019 | Pomona, California
 
Terrifying unexplained screams
1-2-2019 | Dorion, Ontario, Canada
 
My name is whispered
11-9-2018 | Wish not to disclose
 
Strange numbers on arm
11-9-2018 | Charlotte, NC
 
Two experiences
10-31-2018 | Pryor, OK
 
Various experiences
10-31-2018 | Californiia
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.712 Unexplained-Mysteries.com (c) 2001-2018
Terms   |   Privacy Policy   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ