- Meteorite Type: Martian, Augite Basalt
- Weight: 0.10 grams
- Approximate Measurements: 7 mm xmm x 3 m x 2.5 mm
- Additional Information: Part slice of this incredibly rare meteorite from Mars in glass front riker
Martian, Augite Basalt 0.10g
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After the single NWA 8159 stone was found in Morocco it was brought to the United States in 2013 and sent to the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque for classification. In its official writeup, NWA 8159 was described by the submitting scientist as “a fine grained olivine-bearing augite basalt that does not appear to be a SNC type although there are some aspects of it that resemble SNC.” Its primary composition is ~48–50% augite, ~37–40 % plagioclase, with lesser amounts of olivine, magnetite, and orthpyroxene.
Further analysis conducted during 2015 resulted in reports of “shock-melt veins of unique texture” and noted the presence of “high-pressure mineral phases including majoritic garnet, stishovite, coesite, tissinite, and ahrensite.
While a small number of representative pieces of NWA 8159 were made available to academia and collectors, the mass has remained largely intact since its discovery. The few pieces that were released have been studied by academia and cherished by collectors, and were acquired at an extremely high dollar-per-gram rate, indicating the rarity of this meteorite and, indeed, this meteorite class.
The rigorous and repeated studies conducted on NWA 8159 by various experts have determined unequivocally that it is a piece of the Red Planet and, in addition, a very rare type indeed, which appears to be unlike most, or possibly all, other known Martian meteorites.