The catalog of minerals discovered by humans so far will close in 2022 Two new additionsafter it was discovered by a team of researchers in a fragment of a 15-ton meteorite found in Somalia.
baptized in the name of elaliita (of the city of Somalia on menear the Hiran region in which it was found) f kenstatonite (for Lindy Elkins Tantonvice president of the Interplanetary Initiative at the University of Arizona and one of the leading researchers on the formation of planetary cores), both of which come from one A piece of 70 grams which have been sent to the University of Alberta for classification, while a possible third mineral is currently under study.
“When a new mineral is found, it means that the actual geological conditions, the chemistry of the rocks, were different from what was found before,” he said in a statement. Chris HurdProfessor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Curator of the Meteorite Collection at the University of Alberta. “Here’s what makes this exciting: In this particular meteorite there are two minerals that are officially described and are new to science.” If researchers are going to get more samples from the massive meteorite—the ninth-largest meteorite ever found—there is potential for finding more minerals, he says.
Working with researchers from UCLA and Caltech, Hurd classified the El Ali meteorite as an “iron complex IAB” meteorite, one of more than 350 meteorites in that particular class.
Seeing something that caught his eye while he was analyzing it, the professor turned to an experiment Andrew Lowcockdirector of the Electron Microprobe Laboratory at the University of Arizona, who has been involved in other characterizations of new minerals, such as Heamanite (Ce).
says Hurd, who described the findings at the 2022 Space Exploration Symposium being held Nov. 21-22 at the University of Alberta. “That was extraordinary. Most of the time it takes a lot more work than that to say there is new metal.”
Lowcock’s quick identification was possible because they were both metals previously created industriallyso he was able to compare the composition of the newly discovered natural minerals with their man-made counterparts.
Now, researchers continue to examine the minerals to determine what they can tell us about the meteorite’s conditions when it formed.
While the rocky object’s future remains uncertain, Hurd says researchers have received word that it has been moved to China in search of a potential buyer. It will be the next step Find out if additional samples are available for scientific purposes.
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