The National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum this week announced that it has received a donation of a piece of a meteorite that originated on Mars.
Matt Morgan, of Lakewood, who collects extraterrestrial meteorites, gave the NMHFM a 6.4-gram slice of a Martian lherzolitic shergottite found in 2013 at Locality NWA 7755 in Morocco. Only seven meteorites of this type are known to exist. Most meteorites from Mars are found in hot deserts or Antarctica, where they remain uncovered by vegetation after hitting the Earth.
Most shergottites have a basaltic composition that is similar to what space probes have determined is the composition of the Martian surface. They have low aluminum content and high iron content, which sets them apart from rocks originating in the Earth’s crust. Lherzolitic shergottites crystallized on Mars 180 million years ago. Meteor impacts in the northern hemisphere of Mars probably ejected them into outer space.
“We are excited to receive this generous donation and expect to display the meteorite in the near future, probably alongside meteorites that originated on the moon in our ‘Expanding Boundaries’ exhibit,” said NMHFM Executive Director Stephen Whittington.
The mission of the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum is to tell the story about mining, its people and its importance to the American public. The museum is open year-round. “Expanding Boundaries: Harrison Schmitt and the New Mining Frontier” is a permanent exhibit that explores the future of mining in outer space.
Information about the NMHFM can be accessed at www.mininghalloffame.org.
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