Scientists locate the origin of a Martian meteorite that hit Earth

According to scientists, the meteorite crossed space about five million years ago.


A group of scientists managed to identify the place of origin of “Black Beauty” (Black Beauty), a Martian meteorite found in the Sahara in 2011, which can help unravel the origins of the formation of the Earth.

The team has managed to identify which region of Mars the rock comes from, and its particular mineral composition now promises to reveal details of the first moments of our planet.

a solved mystery

The meteorite fits in the palm of your hand, weighs just over 300 grams and above all it is “one of the oldest rocks in the history of geology”, explained planetologist Sylvain Bouley, one of the co-authors of the report published in Nature . Communications .

The meteorite contains zircons, the oldest known mineral on Earth, 4.48 billion years old. That is, “approximately 80 million years after the beginning of the formation of the planets” of the Solar System, explained Bouley, professor at the Geosciences laboratory at the University of Paris-Saclay.

Meteorite NWA 7034 is an “open book on the first moments of Mars “, when its magma surface began to solidify.

The incessant movement of the tectonic plates has been burying and disintegrating the original materials of our planet Earth. Something that did not happen on Mars .

The team of scientists, led by Curtin University in Australia, achieved the feat of identifying the Martian crater where the NWA 7034 meteorite originally came from.

That crater is located in a region whose Martian crust has not changed substantially since the formation of the Red Planet.

In order to identify the exact crater, scientists had to study 8,000 such formations on the surface of that planet.

By measuring the cosmic ray exposure of NWA 7034 , planetologists were able to determine that the meteorite crossed space about five million years ago.

That helped narrow down the type of crater they were looking for. “A very young and wide crater,” Lagain explained.