Martian meteorite (Shergottite)
Ouarzazate, Morocco, July 2018
Little has been documented about the origin of Northwest Africa 12269; it was purchased in Morocco in 2018 and classified at the University of Washington, where scientists recommended the classification of Martian (shergottite). Shergottites are igneous rocks, meaning they likely formed when magma or lava on Mars cooled and solidified.
A recently-published document appearing in the 51st Lunar and Planetary Science Conference revealed that “unpaired” Martian meteorite finds continue to increase year to year, largely due to finds coming out of Northwest Africa. “Paired” meteorite groups refer to those cases in which overwhelming evidence is present suggesting that the meteorites are part of a single fall.
In the case of NWA 12269, researchers believe that it, along with NWA’s 12564, 12690, 12262, and 12335, may constitute a larger single find from an unknown site.