Two minerals never before seen on Earth have been discovered in a giant 16.5-tonne meteorite, providing researchers with possible clues to how space rocks form.
Brand new minerals were found in a 2.5-ounce slice of the El Ali meteorite, discovered in Somalia in 2020 and the ninth largest meteorite ever discovered. This was reported by the University of Alberta🇧🇷 Meteorites are meteorites that survive passing through the Earth’s atmosphere and land on Earth. According to NASA.
The meteorite was sampled and sent to the University of Alberta for classification, where researchers discovered the minerals. The researchers said they were able to identify a third new mineral, although it is still under review. The findings were presented at the university’s Space Research Symposium in November. 21 and 22.
“Whenever you find a new mineral, it means that the actual geological conditions, the chemistry of the rock, was different than what was found before,” said Chris Herd, curator of the Meteorite Collection at the University of Alberta, professor of Earth and atmospheric sciences. said in the statement. “That’s what’s exciting about this: In this particular meteorite, you have two formally described minerals that are new to science.”
According to the university, Heard knew there was something unique about the slice when he first observed it, so he called on his colleague Andrew Locock, who had previously imaged minerals. The minerals were synthetic had been made before, so Lowcock confirmed the new minerals by comparing the composition of natural and artificial minerals.
One of the minerals was named elaliite, referring to the region where the meteorite was found in Somalia. Another is named elkinstantononite after Lindy Elkins-Tanton, vice president and principal investigator for interplanetary research at Arizona State University’s Interplanetary Initiative. NASA’s upcoming Psyche missionIn 2023, it will attempt to orbit a metal-rich asteroid.
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New minerals may have new uses
With the help of researchers from UCLA and the California Institute of Technology, Herd classified the meteorite as an “Iron, IAB complex” meteorite and is one of 350 meteorites of this type, according to the university.
The researchers will conduct further tests on the minerals, which they hope will help them understand the conditions inside meteorites, known as meteorites, when they were formed. If more samples can be taken from the meteorite, other unique minerals may be discovered, which could lead to new uses on our planet, the statement said.
“When there’s a new material that’s known, materials scientists are interested because of the wide variety of potential uses in society,” Herd said.
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