June 7, 2023


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Two new minerals have arrived from space on a meteorite.  But scientists have found it familiar

Two new minerals have arrived from space on a meteorite. But scientists have found it familiar

Minerals discovered in 2020 meteor Ali, the ninth largest ever found. The rock is two meters wide and weighs 15 tons. The study was conducted by scientists from the Canadian University of Alberta.

Dr. Chris Hurd, a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmosphere, turned to Andrew Lowcock for help. The latter informed him on the first day that there were at least two in the sample the new minerals.

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Two new minerals have been found on a meteorite

The first mineral was christened “elalite”, from the meteorite’s name, which in turn comes from a village Somaliawhere it is found. The other is “Elkinstantonite”, in honor of Linda Elkins-Tanton, who was the principal investigator on the mission. NASA Psyche, which aims to send a spacecraft to an asteroid rich in minerals.

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Although no new minerals have been discovered in nature Earth, were not completely alien to scientists. Similar minerals were created artificially in laboratories back in the 1980s, thanks to which Andrew Lowcock was able to identify them so quickly that he was dealing with an important discovery. Dr. Cheers Hurd said it would provide a better understanding of how Nature’s Lab works.

Analysis of a third mineral is still underway, which may also be different from those known on Earth. Scientists are also trying to figure out the geological conditions that led to the formation of the minerals. However, this task can be difficult.

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Meteorite landed in China?

The University of Alberta only received a 70-gram sample of the meteorite. Dr. Heard believes that if they can study more samples, they can discover more minerals that were previously unknown on our planet.

The problem, however, is that the meteorite’s future is still unknown, because as Dr Hurd heard, the meteorite went to ChinaWhere a buyer is looking for it. It remains to be seen if other samples will be donated for scientific purposes.