Two minerals never before been seen on Earth found inside 17-ton meteorite

(Image credit: University of Alberta Meteorite Collection) (Fair Use)

Researchers have discovered two minerals that have never been seen before on Earth. The discovery was made in Somalia, inside a massive meteorite. It may hold important clues to how asteroids form.

  • LIVE SCIENCE – The two brand new minerals were found inside a single 2.5 ounce (70 gram) slice taken from the 16.5 ton (15 metric tons) El Ali meteorite, which crashed to Earthin 2020. Scientists named the minerals elaliite after the meteor and elkinstantonite after Lindy Elkins-Tanton(opens in new tab), the managing director of the Arizona State University Interplanetary Initiative and principal investigator of NASA’s upcoming Psyche mission, which will send a probe to investigate the mineral-rich Psyche asteroid for evidence of how our solar system‘s planets formed.
  • GLOBAL NEWS – A meteorite expert from the University of Alberta was part of a team of researchers that discovered at least two new minerals never before seen on Earth.
  • TIME.NEWS – The researchers classified al-Ali as an IAB-iron complex meteorite, a type of meteorite iron interspersed with small pieces of silicate. While investigating the meteorite slice, new mineral details caught the scientists’ attention. By comparing the minerals to copies of them previously synthesized in the lab, they were able to quickly identify them as newly recorded in nature.