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Rare meteorites reveal Mars collision caused water flow

Exactly a century after the first discovery of a rare meteorite sample, University of Leicester team uses it to reveal new insights into water on the red planet
Rare fragments of Martian meteorites have been investigated at the University of Leicester revealing one of the ways water flowed near the surface of Mars.
Scientists at the Universitys renowned Space Research Centre, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, examined five meteorite samples - including the very first nakhlite, found a century ago.

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Martian meteorites
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Rare meteorites reveal Mars collision caused water flow

Rare fragments of Martian meteorites have been investigated at the University of Leicester revealing one of the ways water flowed near the surface of Mars.
Scientists at the University's renowned Space Research Centre, in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, examined five meteorite samples - including the very first nakhlite, found a century ago.
Nakhlites are a form of meteorite known to have originated on Mars. They are named after the village of El-Nakhla in Egypt where the first one was found in 1911.

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ALH84001 Meteorite
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Anniversary (1984), of the discovery of ALH84001 Meteorite (Mars Meteorite)

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On this day in 1996, NASA announced that evidence of microfossils may be present in Meteorite Allen Hills 84001, a 4.5 billion year old meteorite thought to originate from Mars.

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Martian meteorite may hold clues to water on the Red Planet

Scientists are examining fragments of a Martian meteorite to try to establish when water was freely flowing on the red planet.
Under a three-year project, funded with 530,000 from STFC, Dr Martin Lee and colleagues at the University of Glasgow are painstakingly scanning a tiny chunk of a meteorite called Nakhla, using powerful electron microscopes. The Nakhla meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1911, reputedly hit a dog in Egypt as it landed.
The team is looking for minerals within the Nakhla that might have been carried there by water seeping through tiny pores in the rock which then crystallised.

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Nakhla's meteorite (Natural History Museum)
inline_dashed_line.gif
video_text.gifNakhla meteorite

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NASA team cites new evidence that meteorites from Mars contain ancient fossils

NASA's Mars Meteorite Research Team reopened a 14-year-old controversy on extraterrestrial life last week, reaffirming and offering support for its widely challenged assertion that a 4-billion-year-old meteorite that landed thousands of years ago on Antarctica shows evidence of microscopic life on Mars.
In addition to presenting research that they said disproved some of their critics, the scientists reported that additional Martian meteorites appear to house distinct and identifiable microbial fossils that point even more strongly to the existence of life.

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A Martian meteorite that has played a pivotal role in our understanding of the Solar System has been found to be half a billion years younger than previously thought, say US researchers. Despite the age adjustment, the meteorite, called ALH84001, is still the oldest Martian rock found on Earth.
Much of our information about the geology of Mars comes from debris that was thrown into space by asteroid strikes on the red planet. Some of this material is still falling to Earth as meteorites - ALH84001 was found in Allan Hills, Antarctica in 1984.

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Using a new instrument, a team of NASA scientists will bombard three meteorites - known to be from Mars as the gases trapped inside them match those in rocks examined by probes on the red planet - with a stream of ions to check whether features are geological or biological, Scientific American reported.
Two of the three meteorites - ALH84001 and Yamato 593 - were found in the Antarctic by American and Japanese scientists after they were lying in the icy desert for thousands of years.
Chunks of the third meteorite, which fell at Nakhla in Egypt in 1911, are preserved at London's Natural History Museum.

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Two possible source craters for the martian meteorite ALH84001 have been identified through an extensive search of impact craters on Mars. The 1.9-kg (4.2 lb) meteorite, recently identified as showing possible evidence of past martian life, was formed about 4.5 billion years ago and was blasted off of Mars during a meteorite impact about 16 million years ago. Dr. Nadine Barlow, a planetary scientist at the University of Central Florida, identified the two likely source craters through a search of a crater catalogue she compiled while doing her graduate work at the University of Arizona in the mid-1980's.
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