Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New martian meteorite found in Antarctica

21.07.2004


While rovers and orbiting spacecraft scour Mars searching for clues to its past, researchers have uncovered another piece of the red planet in the most inhospitable place on Earth -- Antarctica.


Far left: Field image of meteorite at time of collection Far right: Member of the 2003-2004 ANSMET collection team searching at the Miller range Icefield Bottom left: MIL 03346 in Meteorite Processing Lab, JSC



The new specimen was found by a field party from the U.S. Antarctic Search for Meteorites program (ANSMET) on Dec. 15, 2003, on an ice field in the Miller Range of the Transantarctic Mountains, roughly 750 kilometers from the South Pole. This 715.2-gram black rock, officially designated MIL 03346, was one of 1,358 meteorites collected by ANSMET during the 2003-2004 austral summer.

Discovery of this meteorite occurred during the second full field season of a cooperative effort funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to enhance recovery of rare meteorite types in Antarctica in the hopes of finding new Martian samples.


Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History involved in classification of Antarctic finds said the mineralogy, texture and the oxidized nature of the rock are unmistakably Martian. The new specimen is the seventh recognized member of a group of Martian meteorites called the nakhlites, named after the first known specimen that fell in Nakhla, Egypt, in 1911.

Like the other Martian meteorites, MIL 03346 is a piece of the red planet that can be studied in detail in the laboratory, providing a critical "reality check" for use in interpreting the wealth of images and data being returned by the spacecraft currently exploring Mars. Following the existing protocols of the U.S. Antarctic meteorite program, scientists from around the world will be invited to request samples of the new specimen for their own detailed research.

Nakhlites are significant among the known Martian meteorites for several reasons. Thought to have originated within thick lava flows that crystallized on Mars approximately 1.3 billion years ago, and sent to Earth by a meteorite impact about 11 million years ago, the nakhlites are among the older known Martian meteorites. As a result they bear witness to significant segments of the volcanic and environmental history of Mars.

The U.S. Antarctic Meteorite program is a cooperative effort jointly supported by NSF, NASA and the Smithsonian Institution. Antarctic field work is supported by grants from NASA and NSF to Case Western Reserve University; initial examination and curation of recovered Antarctic meteorites is supported by NASA at the Astromaterials Curation facilities at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas; and initial characterization and long term curation of Antarctic meteorite samples is supported by NASA and the Smithsonian Institution at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Jeff Bendix | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.case.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht A close-up look at an uncommon underwater eruption
11.01.2018 | Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

nachricht Environmental history told by sludge: Global warming lets the dead zones in the Black Sea grow
10.01.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

White graphene makes ceramics multifunctional

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

Breaking bad metals with neutrons

16.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

ISFH-CalTeC is “designated test centre” for the confirmation of solar cell world records

16.01.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>