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Mars meteorite 'Black Beauty' is in a class of its own


Craig
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20900843


 


A dark lump of rock found in the Moroccan desert in 2011 is a new type of Martian meteorite, say scientists.

 


Weighing 320g, the stone has been given the formal name Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034 - but is nicknamed "Black Beauty".


 


Its texture and chemistry set it apart from all previous objects picked up off the surface of Earth but known to originate on the Red Planet.


 


The researchers' analysis, reported in Science magazine, shows the meteorite to be just over two billion years old.


 


http://news.discovery.com/space/rare-water-rich-mars-meteorite-found-120103.html


 


A rare Martian meteorite recently found in Morocco contains minerals with 10 times more water than previously discovered Mars meteorites, a finding that raises new questions about when and how long the planet most like Earth in the solar system had conditions suitable for life.

 


The rock is believed to be similar to those studied by NASA's Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which landed on opposite sides of Mars in 2004 to look for signs of past water. Spirit is no longer operational, but in August Opportunity was joined by the new and more sophisticated Curiosity rover, which will be searching for chemistry and environmental conditions necessary to support microbial life.

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