(ORDO NEWS) — The minerals were extracted from a piece of the El Ali meteorite that was found in Somalia in 2020.
This meteorite weighs 17 tons, but in just 70 grams of its substance, scientists found as many as two minerals unknown to science.
Two brand new minerals have been discovered inside a single 70-gram piece taken from the 17-ton El Ali meteorite that was found in 2020.
The scientists named the minerals elaliite after the meteorite and elkinstantonite after Lindy Elkins-Tanton, managing director of Arizona State University’s Planetary Initiative and chief investigator of NASA‘s upcoming Psyche mission.
As part of this mission, a probe will be sent to study the asteroid Psyche, which can give scientists important data on how the planets of the solar system formed.
Mysterious minerals in a meteorite
The researchers classified El Ali as an iron meteorite of the primitive achondrite class, consisting of meteoric iron with tiny bits of silicates.
During the study of a fragment of a meteorite, the attention of scientists was attracted by the details of unusual minerals.
By comparing the minerals to versions previously synthesized in the lab, the researchers were able to quickly identify them. It turned out that such minerals had not previously been found in nature.
The researchers plan to continue studying meteorites to understand the conditions under which their parent asteroid formed.
The research team is also exploring the applications of minerals in materials science. However, future scientific discoveries related to the El Ali meteorite may be in jeopardy.
The meteorite has now been transported to China in search of a potential buyer, which could limit researchers’ access to important scientific data.
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