Piece of Mars found in Antarctica
A new meteorite that came from Mars has been discovered by US scientists in Antarctica, the US space agency NASA announced.
The meteorite was found by a field party from the US Antarctic Search for Meteorites program (ANSMET) on December 15, 2003, on an ice field in the Miller Range of the Transantarctic Mountains, roughly 750 kilometres from the South Pole.
The 715.2-gram black rock, officially designated MIL 03346, was one of 1,358 meteorites collected by ANSMET during the 2003-2004 austral summer, said the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Scientists at the National Museum of Natural History involved in classification of Antarctic finds said the mineralogy, texture and the oxidised 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. Nakhlites are thought to have originated within thick lava flows that crystallised on Mars approximately 1.3 billion years ago and sent to Earth by a meteorite impact about 11 million years ago. afp