- Meteorite Type: Martian meteorite, Nakhlite
- Weight: 0.63 grams
- Approximate Measurements: 10 mm x 7 mm x 6 mm. One centimeter scale cube for size reference.
- Additional Information: Fragment of this super rare meteorite type
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Martian meteorite, Nakhlite
Found in Mauritania, 2015
A stone out of Northwest Africa, found in Mauritania, NWA 10720 is something incredible; it was classified as a Martian meteorite; a nakhlite, to be exact. “Nakhlites” are named after the Nakhla meteorite, which fell in Egypt on June 28, 1911. This meteorite would the first in the nakhlite group, which is used to categorize Martian meteorites rich in augite and that scientists believe were formed from basaltic magma about 1.3 billion years ago; that means that they are part of lava that erupted and later cooled on Mars’ surface.
Further study suggests that nakhlites probably contained water, having been exposed to it when the rocks on Mars were formed. Meteorites are important sources of information about their parent bodies, and nakhlites have offered a wealth of new data about the Red Planet’s mantle composition, surface materials, the condition of its atmosphere, liquid water, and environment. All of these factors continue to inform researcher’s thoughts on whether there was–or could be–life on Mars.