In a 17-ton meteorite, scientists discovered 2 new minerals unknown on Earth

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In a 17-ton meteorite, scientists discovered 2 new minerals unknown on Earth

These minerals were discovered inside a fragment of the El-Ali meteorite, which was found 2 years ago.

Related video < p>In a huge meteorite that was discovered in Somalia back in 2020, scientists recently found 2 new minerals that have never been found on Earth. These minerals may be the key to understanding how asteroids form, writes Live Science.

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Scientists have discovered two previously unknown minerals in a meteorite fragment weighing only 70 grams. At the same time, the meteorite itself called El Ali, which was discovered in Africa 2 years ago, weighs 16.5 tons.

In a 17-ton meteorite, scientists discovered 2 new minerals unknown on Earth

Scientists have discovered 2 new minerals unknown on Earth in a 17-ton meteorite

The new minerals have already received the following names:

  • One was named elalite, in honor of the El Ali meteorite itself;
  • The second was named elkinstantonite, in honor of Lindy Elkins-Tanton , who is the chief scientist of NASA's upcoming Psyche mission. As part of this mission, the spacecraft will go to the asteroid of the same name, which, as you know, is considered the most precious space stone.

“When you find a new mineral, it means that the actual geological conditions, the chemical composition of the rock was different from what was found before. And this is an exciting event. We discovered in this particular case 2 new minerals that were unknown to science,” says Chris Hurd from the University of Alberta, Canada.

As for the El Ali meteorite itself, scientists attributed it to the IAB type, because it consists of iron with a small admixture of silicates. During the study of a fragment of this meteorite, the attention of scientists was attracted by the details of new minerals. They were able to quickly determine that these were completely new minerals that were not known to science due to the fact that scientists compared these minerals with their versions that were previously created in the laboratory.

Scientists have discovered 2 new minerals unknown on Earth in a 17-ton meteorite

In a 17-ton meteorite, scientists have discovered 2 new minerals unknown on Earth

Now scientists want to further study the meteorite in order to understand the conditions in which its parent asteroid was formed.

< p>“I would like to understand as accurately as possible how the asteroid from which this meteorite broke off was formed. Perhaps new data will help us with this,” Hurd says.

But further study of the El Ali meteorite may be in jeopardy . The fact is that this space stone was taken to China, where they are looking for a buyer for it. If the sale goes through, it could limit access to the meteorite for research, scientists say.

Focus has already written about the Psyche mission, which was supposed to begin with the launch of the spacecraft on aboard the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle in August this year. But later it became known that the launch will be carried out only in the fall of 2023.