A group of its own


Meteorites, just like famous diamonds, are given special names- at least those at the top of their class used for comparison reasons. Campo de Cielo, Canyon Diablo, Murchison, Sikhote-Alin to name a few...

But there is one that recently has taken it's own classification- Black Beauty.

Formally known as NWA 7034, the exact drop point is unknown due to it being collected haphazardly and eventually donated for research purposes. 

Here's some incredible facts about this beautiful specimen from space!

1-it is a volcanic breccia (or broken pieces of minerals melded together from extreme temperature and pressure) from Mars! Minerals include pyroxene and feldspars. 

2-The iron/manganese chemical ratio matches other samples from Mars

3-The oxygen isotopes, however, do not correlate with other Martian samples, suggesting it had once been buried in the crust or impact temperatures messed up the oxygen isotopes!

4-Found in 2011 and recognized officially by the Meteoritical Society in 2013. It was then that it received its own meteorite category "Martian breccia"

5-Has the highest water content in any Martian sample to date! Reasons are still unknown.

6- It is claimed to be the second oldest Martian meteorite to date! (It dates back about 2 billion years!)

Thank you for reading and next week- what is graphite like on Mercury?

Caitlin Ahrens