A unique black meteorite found in the Moroccan desert has turned out to have come from the planet Mars.
Nicknamed "Black Beauty", the meteorite has a texture and chemistry that sets it apart from previous Martian meteorites and is believed to be just over two billion years old. Like other meteorites from Mars, this one would have originated at the site of an asteroid impact on the Red Planet, catapulting chunks of rock off in to space. Such finds are very rare, only 100 or so meteorites from Mars have ever been found on the Earth.
"It has some resemblance to the other Martian meteorites but it's also distinctly different in other respects, both in the way it just looks in hand sample, but also in its elemental composition." said study leader Carl Agee. There is far more water in the new meteorite than in any others found from Mars suggesting water was a lot more abundant at the time it was formed. "This rock is from two billion years ago and a lot of the SNCs are from only about 200-400 million years ago," said Agee.
"A dark lump of rock found in the Moroccan desert in 2011 is a new type of Martian meteorite, say scientists."
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Source: BBC News
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