February 8, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Discovery of unknown minerals in a large ice meteorite

Discovery of unknown minerals in a large ice meteorite

A Canadian research team has discovered at least two new minerals never before seen on Earth — at least not in their natural form. It’s part of a 15-ton iron meteorite – the ninth largest ever found – that was spotted in Somalia in 2020 by opal hunters. It has been used by local shepherds for generations as an anvil for sharpening knives (Space Exploration Symposium21 November).

The two special minerals were found in a 70-gram piece that was sent to the University of Alabama (USA) for classification. It may even contain a third, unknown mineral.

The first two minerals were named elaliite and elk Instantonite. The first refers to the meteorite itself, which is called “the Most High” because it was found not far from the city of the same name. The second mineral is named for Lindy Elkins-Tanton, a professor at Arizona State University and principal investigator for NASA’s upcoming Psyche space mission, who has done extensive research into the formation of planetary cores.

Minerals can be identified very quickly, as they were previously synthesized. So it can be compared to its synthetic counterparts. Scientists will continue to examine the minerals in the meteorite to find clues about the conditions under which the Ali meteorite was formed. It is believed to belong to a family of iron meteorites that were once part of the same thing asteroid.

The particular meteorite probably wouldn’t be used as a grindstone. It was shipped to China to be sold to the highest bidder. (EE)

New minerals discovered in a massive meteorite may reveal clues to asteroid formation

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