January 27, 2023


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Unexpected discovery: The meteorite contains two minerals that have not been discovered before on Earth

Unexpected discovery: The meteorite contains two minerals that have not been discovered before on Earth

A group of researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada discovered two new minerals in a meteorite found in Somalia in 2020. When the meteorite hit, the weight of 15,000 tons is not clear, but it is the ninth largest meteorite ever found. He was called the Most High.

Canadian scientists were given access to a 70-gram disk for grading space rocks. Their conclusion was that it was a so-called IAB-type iron meteorite, one of more than 350 meteorites in that particular class.

I got hit on the first day

While working, Professor Chris Hurd saw something that caught his eye. He enlisted the help of the university’s Electron Probe Microanalysis Laboratory, where instrumentation bombarded the disk with an electron beam and analyzed the X-rays it emitted.

Already on the day of the analysis, they discovered two minerals that do not occur naturally on Earth.

– phenomenon. It usually takes a lot more work than this to be able to determine if it’s a new mineral, says Chris Hurd in one press release.

The reason the identification process is so fast is because the two minerals had been created synthetically before, which made it possible to match the composition of the two newly discovered natural minerals to their man-made counterparts.

A third unknown mineral

Researchers are now continuing to examine the mineral to increase knowledge of the geological conditions that prevailed when the meteorite formed sometime in the past.

“When you find a new mineral, it means that the geological conditions, the chemistry in the rock, were different from what was previously discovered,” Hurd says.

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One of the minerals was named elaliite, after the El Ali meteorite, which in turn was named after the town of the same name near the site of its discovery. The other mineral is named Elkinstantonite, after Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the chief scientist on NASA’s upcoming mission to the asteroid Psyche.

The researchers also suspect that a third, as yet unknown, mineral may be hiding in the 70-gram disc.

This article was first published in new technology.


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