Meteorite chunks that fell in Morocco last summer came from Mars, yielding an unexpected 15-pound sample of the Red Planet, scientists confirmed Tuesday. It’s the first time in 50 years — and only the fifth time ever — that scientists have chemically confirmed that pieces of rock came from Mars.
The rocks were found in December and analyzed by a committee of meteorite experts. The biggest one weighs a little more than 2 pounds.
When our planet was still forming, collisions with other planetesimals — and a Mars-sized object that sheared away the moon — turned the embryonic Earth into a roiling ball of molten rock. Iron and other heavy elements sank toward the core, and other iron-loving elements did, too. As a result, there’s plenty of gold at our planet’s center. So why, then, is there also gold in the hills? A new study supports the theory that it was all a gift from above.
A new network of surveillance cameras will track meteorites as they enter Earth’s atmosphere, helping meteor-hunters track where the rocks land and where they came from.
So far, there are only three cameras, but astronomers hope to add a dozen more in schools and science centers, eventually broadening the All-Sky Fireball Network to the entire country. The system consists of smart black-and-white cameras that record the entire night sky, fish-eye-like.
Did a NASA scientist find fossilized alien microbes embedded in a 146-year-old meteorite? As this claim emerged over the weekend, the answer from the scientific community so far appears to be something between “Um, what?” and “No.”
Getting thwacked by a meteorite and surviving seems almost impossible, but don't tell that to 14-year-old Gerrit Blank. While walking to school in his hometown of Essen, Germany, a "ball of light" seared a 3-inch scar into his hand before hitting the ground.