Scientists discover something never before seen in one of the largest meteorites that have ever fallen to Earth

Discover a team of researchers At least two new minerals that have never been seen on Earth before In a 15-ton meteorite found in Somalia, it is the ninth largest meteorite ever found.

“Every time you find a new mineral, it means that the actual geological conditions, the chemistry of the rocks, were different from what was discovered before,” he said in a statement. Chris HurdTeacher Department of Atmospheric and Earth Sciences And Amen meteorite collection from the University of Alberta. “Here’s what makes this exciting: In this particular meteorite there are two minerals that are officially described and are new to science.”

The two minerals were found in one 70-gram piece that was sent to the US in Alberta for grading. It appears that a possible third metal is already under consideration. If researchers get more samples from the meteorite, Hurd said, there’s a chance they’ll find more.

The two newly discovered minerals have been named elaliite and elkinstantonite.. The first gets its name from the meteorite itself, nicknamed the meteorite. On Because it was found near the city of Al-Ali in the Somali Hiran region. Flock named the second mineral after Lindy Elkins TantonVice President of the Planetary Initiative at Arizona State University Arizona State University School of Earth and Space Exploration and the principal investigator on NASA’s upcoming Psyche mission.

“Lende has done a lot of work on how planetary cores form, how iron and nickel cores form, and our closest isotope is iron meteorites. So it makes sense to name a mineral after him and acknowledge his contributions to science,” Hurd explains.

In collaboration with researchers from University of California and the California Institute of TechnologyHurd classified the Ali meteorite as an “iron complex IAB” meteorite, One of more than 350 in that particular category.

While Hurd was analyzing the meteorite to classify it, He saw something that caught his attention. Contribute to an experiment Andrew Lowcock, Director Electron microprobe laboratory From the United States in Alberta, who participated in other descriptions of the new mineral, incl Hemanite- (m) .

“The first day he did some analysis, he told me, ‘You have at least two new minerals in there,'” Hurd recounted. “That was extraordinary. Most of the time it takes a lot more work than that to say there is new metal.”

One of the many meteorites that fall to Earth.

Lowcock’s quick identification was possible because the two minerals had been created synthetically before, so he was able to match the composition of the newly discovered natural minerals with their man-made counterparts.

Researchers continue to examine the minerals to determine what they can tell us about the conditions in the meteorite when it formed.

“Here’s my experiment: how do geological processes reveal the geological history of the asteroid that this rock was a part of,” Hurd said. “I never thought I would get involved in describing new minerals just by working on a meteorite.”

Herd also noted that no new mineral discovery It could lead to exciting new uses in the future.

“Anytime a new material is known, materials scientists are also interested because of its potential uses in a wide variety of things in society,” he said.

While the meteorite’s future remains uncertain, Hurd said researchers have received word that it has been moved to China in search of a potential buyer. It remains to be seen if additional samples will be available for scientific purposes.

Description of the flock results in Space Exploration Symposium On November 21st.

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