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Martian Meteorite NWA13187

$72.00

This is one of the rarest rocks on the planet. It is a meteorite whose origin has been identified as planet Mars. Its official meteorical designation is Northwest Africa 13187.

Humans have never returned samples of another planet to Earth, so Martian meteorites discovered on Earth present the only contact we currently have with something from another world.

 

This item was recently featured in our monthly box, Matter. Any leftovers will be available for purchase here after all subscribers have received theirs.

Includes a 30mg fragment of the main slice [pictured] in an acrylic display case. All fragments vary slightly in shape & appearance, but have been carefully weighed to be equivalent in value. Includes info card and individually-numbered certificate of authenticity.

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This rock is really from Mars

Shergottites are rocks that were formed by lava flows on the planet Mars as recently as 180 million years ago. After a major impact event, they were ejected into outer space and eventually collided with Earth. 

 

How do we know it came from Mars?

Thousands of meteorites have been found on Earth and nearly all of them can be traced to the formation of the solar system. However, a handful of meteorites, less than 0.5% of those classified, are much younger and contain a unique chemical composition which made their origin a mystery for nearly a century. 

Then in 1976, the Viking landers reached Mars and analyzed the gaseous composition of its thin atmosphere. The results contained the same unique isotopes in the exact same proportions as those trapped within shock glass veins and pockets in shergottites. This evidence was compelling since the chemical signature hadn’t been discovered anywhere else in the solar system. This led NASA to announce in 1983 that the meteorites “don’t look like anything so much as the Viking measurements of the Martian atmosphere”. 

Now, after decades of further analysis by more spacecrafts, the evidence for a Martian origin to these rocks is irrefutable. The results are best summed up in a 2000 study: “If they were from another planetary body, it would have to be substantially identical to Mars.”

authenticity

We go to great lengths to ensure everything we sell is authentic. This specimen was purchased from a meteorite collector with IMCA #6752. Its history can be traced at The Meteorical Society and each fragment includes an individually numbered certificate of authenticity.

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