The Black Beauty meteorite, or by its official name the NWA 7034, is believed by scientists to come from Mars and it may hold the key to uncovering the secrets behind Mars’ color. Scientists believe that this piece of rock is actually the first piece of Martian crust ever to be found.
The Black Beauty meteorite was discovered in the Moroccan desert in 2011 and was only determined to be from Mars in January 2013. It weighs 320 grams and it is 4.4 billion years old.
New research performed by the scientists from Brown University reports that spectrographic studies of the Black Beauty meteorite could explain why a region of Mars called Dark Plains is dark.
From the moment scientists confirmed that the Black Beauty meteorite comes from Mars it puzzled the astronomical society. Firstly, NWA 7034 is a breccia meteorite, which means that it is made up from different rock types that were melted together. All the other Martian meteorites were SNC meteorites, which means shergottites, nakhlites, or chassignites; these meteorites were made from cooled volcanic material.
Secondly, when comparing the properties of the Black Beauty meteorite to what can be observed on Mars with the help of space probes it was revealed that the meteorite is a perfect match. Scientists believe that this could mean that the Black Beauty meteorite is the first piece of Red Planet crust to ever be found on Earth.
Following the careful examination of the Black Beauty meteorite, scientists postulate that the red dust that is found all over the Martian surface could in fact be obscuring the true color of Mars’ crust which is actually speckled black, just like the meteorite is.
If this is true, it would also explain why all of the previous Martian meteorites had spectrographic differences when compared to the planet as it is at this moment.
Scientists say that the next step is to extract a sample of crust from the Red Planet and send it back safely to Earth for extensive study. Unfortunately, no craft that is right now on Mars or in development is equipped for such a task.
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