Home > Astronomy, Mars, Meteorites, Solar System > Meteorite Delivers Martian Secrets To U of A Researcher

Meteorite Delivers Martian Secrets To U of A Researcher


A meteorite that landed in the Moroccan desert 14 months ago is providing more information about Mars, the planet where it originated.University of Alberta researcher Chris Herd helped in the study of the Tissint meteorite, in which traces of Mars’ unique atmosphere are trapped.

“Our team matched traces of gases found inside the Tissint meteorite with samples of Mars’ atmosphere collected in 1976 by Viking, NASA’s Mars lander mission,” said Herd.Herd explained that the meteorite started out 600 million years ago as a fairly typical volcanic rock on the surface of Mars, until it was launched off the planet by the impact of an asteroid.

“At the instant of that impact with Mars, a shock wave shot through the rock,” said Herd. “Cracks and fissures within the rock were sealed instantly by the heat, trapping components of Mars’ atmosphere inside, and forming black, glassy spots.”

Full Story: http://www.news.ualberta.ca/article.aspx?id=91FF057804334BFB8A54C71DDC27A6B3

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