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Space & Astronomy

Extraterrestrial mineral found inside meteorite

By T.K. Randall
September 6, 2019 · Comment icon 16 comments

The meteorite was found 68 years ago. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 Rodney Start / Museums Victoria
Scientists have discovered an exotic alien mineral that does not occur naturally anywhere on Earth.
The discovery was made following a new analysis of the Wedderburn meteorite - a 'lemon-sized' space rock that was found back in 1951 near Wedderburn in Victoria, Australia.

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology used an electron-beam microscope and electron probe to determine the chemical composition and crystal structure of the meteorite's interior.

They determined that it contained a previously unseen mineral found nowhere else on Earth.
The new mineral has since been named 'edscottite' after scientist Edward R.D. Scott.

The meteorite itself is thought to have been part of a small planet that was shattered into pieces when it collided with another object during the early days of the solar system.

"Every mineral has a voice and its own story to tell," said study lead author Chi Ma.

"Each new E.T. mineral represents a distinctive formation environment and can provide insights into processes active in the solar nebula, on asteroids, the moon and Mars."

Source: Live Science | Comments (16)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Tom1200 5 years ago
I could refute this... but the explanation requires 18-dimensional superstrings knitted into a 7D hyperlattice using mediating tensor calculus, 5D matrix analysis and the chemical structure of halloumi.  There are only 32 412 readers of this site who would understand it; why bore the other six?
Comment icon #8 Posted by Manwon Lender 5 years ago
"Tensor Analysis and Differential Geometry" just three places down from this. A "tensor" is a generalization of vector. It can be applied to just about any kind of problem that vectors can. As long as you are dealing with Euclidean space (curvature 0) you might as well just use vectors but problems involving curved surfaces or spaces (such as general relativity) use tensors. You would sure bore me.
Comment icon #9 Posted by qxcontinuum 5 years ago
No no and no, perhaps I wasnt clear In my previous post: whilst minerals can form differently under pressure and certain conditions, combining elements in unique ways, there are no elements in this universe that we dont know about. We even created ned elements using the particle accelerator.  The rationale is simple: there may be a point beyond which atoms cannot get any heavier as they get heavier and unstable.  
Comment icon #10 Posted by Stiff 5 years ago
I want to name the next one.  'Mineral McMineralface'
Comment icon #11 Posted by psyche101 5 years ago
It's been seen to occur, and therefore 'know' from smelting processes. It's just not ever been known to occur naturally. That's in the OPs brief and the link. 
Comment icon #12 Posted by psyche101 5 years ago
It might be cool. Like venom or something.    Be awesome if that lands in my yard
Comment icon #13 Posted by AlphaGeek 5 years ago
Call me silly, but something not of earth, I would think the probability of it containing something not naturally made on earth to be pretty high. 
Comment icon #14 Posted by ChrLzs 5 years ago
The article didn't say a new element was found.  So either you misread, or you don't know the difference between elements and minerals...? Why not just admit your error - are you Donald Trump?
Comment icon #15 Posted by capeo 5 years ago
Nobody is talking about elements. 
Comment icon #16 Posted by Alchopwn 5 years ago
The crucial issue here is the clause "does not occur naturally". Edscottite does occur artificially as a product of iron smelting, but this is the first time that humans have encountered it occurring in nature LINK.

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