by Staff Writers
Copenhagen (Sputnik) Apr 24, 2017
Humans have yet to set foot on Mars, but meteorites have been, by far, the most frequent visitors from outer space on Earth. Recently, one which has been dubbed "Black Beauty" landed in the hands of Danish researchers.
The Natural History Museum (NHM) in Copenhagen has obtained a piece of Mars: it has procured a piece of a famous Martian meteorite, known as "Black Beauty." The NHM acquired a 44-gram piece of the meteorite 7033/34, which landed in the Sahara desert in southern Morocco, for subsequent research. The costly procurement is expected to help the Danish researchers study the Red planet.
"This is very exciting. Black Beauty is very rare and special because it contains small pieces of the original crust of Mars," Martin Bizzarro, the head of the Center for Star and Planet Formation at NHM, told Danish scientific portal Videnskab.dk.
According to Bizzarro, the largest portion of Black Beauty, weighing 44 grams, may shed a new light on how Mars was formed and developed. The Danish researchers hope to be able to finish studying the meteorite by 2019, when it will be made available for exhibition at the NHM.
Buying a piece of Mars isn't cheap. According to Bizzarro, a gram of Black Beauty costs about $10,000, which effectively boosted the price of the Danish procurement to close to half a million dollars.
However, the Center for Star and Planet Formation managed to reduce the price by offering an array of meteorites from NHM's own collection in return. In late 2016, Denmark also pledged to invest 350 million DKK ($50mln) in space activities over the next three years in order to help discover new solutions for a better global future.
While Black Beauty was discovered in 2011, it took until 2013 for it to be verified as a Martian meteorite. Its age was assessed as about 4.5 billion years old, which effectively makes Black Beauty the second-oldest rock of its kind on Earth. It was nicknamed by an American research team led by Professor Carl Agee of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico.
Originally, the meteorite weighed 319.8 grams, but was later divided into smaller pieces. Previously, a bit of Black Beauty was used to map Mars' historical climate.
Today, meteorite-hunting pays well. In recent decades, a whole industry has been built to specialize in hunting meteorites, especially in Africa.
Houston (UPI) Feb 1, 2017
Mars may be home to some of the oldest volcanoes in the solar system. New evidence suggests the Red Planet has been home to volcanic activity for at least 2 billion years. The evidence is a small Martian meteorite discovered in Africa in 2012. The rock was named Northwest Africa 7635. Scientists has studied many Martian meteorites over the years. Most arrived on Earth's surface r ... read more
Natural History Museum
Mars News and Information at MarsDaily.com
Lunar Dreams and more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|