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December 9, 2013

For the first time in human history, a fragment of the planet Mercury has been identified.


From Mercury to Morocco, and onward to Yale: a meteorite's taleKnown as NWA 7325, the fist-size, greenish space rock is a rarity among rarities:
there just aren’t many verified planetary meteorites. Scientists know of about 70 from Mars and, until now, none from any of the other planets in Earth’s solar system. There are about 180 known meteorites from the moon. NWA 7325 is the first believed to be from Mercury.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at December 9, 2013 9:41 AM. This is an entry on the sideblog of American Digest: Check it out.

Your Say

Just one question: How in the world could ANYONE know with certainty that that rock came to us from Mars?

Posted by: Jack at December 9, 2013 1:31 PM

Exactly. I suspect this is purely an effort at getting attention. What an embarrassment our scientific community has become.

Posted by: C W Swanson at December 9, 2013 2:46 PM

Jack asked the exact question I had, and have had ever since I first heard the claim of a meteorite from Mars lo these many years ago. Proof is a hard thing to come by in science when you're only dealing with old rocks rather than repeatable events.

Posted by: Grizzly at December 9, 2013 6:43 PM

Even if it really did come from Mars, or Mercury, or even the moon- How do they figure it got from there to here? Did it just fall off the planet, and happen to land in someone's yard?
Just wondering.


Posted by: jwm at December 9, 2013 8:05 PM

JWM - That one's easy. It got knocked off by a meteor or comet impact, and floated around the solar system for a while.

As for being sure: Well, we have a remarkable amount of information about the surface composition of Mars and Mercury; remote sensing really is very good these days, and in the case of Mars analyses have been done on site. We also have even more info about surface conditions on those bodies, which is also relevant. In the case of the Moon, of course we have a couple of hundred kilos of known Moon rock to compare it to.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at December 10, 2013 2:13 AM

'believed to be'==='Null comma Null'

Posted by: Fred Z at December 10, 2013 7:19 PM

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