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NWA 11220   contributed by Martin Goff, IMCA 3387   MetBul Link

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Martin writes:
Here is NWA 11220 (provisional), a new Black Beauty pairing currently being classified by Caroline Smith, Natasha Almeida, and Agata Krzesinska at the NHM London. The stone weighs 36.62785 grams.

Black Beauty is perhaps not an obvious beauty but when you probe under the surface, beauty is really an understatement! The first sample recovered, NWA 7034, was not at first even recognised as being from Mars. Now classified as a Martian Basaltic Breccia, NWA 7034, along with a few pairings found since then is one of the most important meteorites scientifically of the last few years. One of the reasons is itís age, 4.2 to 4.4 billion years old! There are only two Martian meteorites known to be over 4 billion years old, and those are Black Beauty and the infamous ALH 84001. Not only this but Black Beauty also contains trapped Martian water, 0.6% by weight, water that is over 4 billion years old from Mars!

Dr. Carl B. Agee, the classifier of NWA 7034, writes:
Actually this martian meteorite is much more fertile ground to look for little green men than the more famous ALH 84001. It is a breccia, has a bulk composition that is basaltic, but it is polymict with at least 6 different igneous lithologies, there are rounded objects that could be sedimentary, there are impact melt clasts, there appears to be a non-martian meteoritic component (like that found in the lunar regolith). So far there are three age dates for NWA 7034 perhaps representing major events during its residence on Mars at 1.4, 2.1, 4.4 billion years ago. NWA 7034 has 6000 ppm water, more than ten times the water in other martian meteorites. I could go on and on, but I recommend the LPSC instead, should be a great meeting. The meteoritic component idea is work by Munir Humayun and Randy Korotev. They see elevated highly siderophile elements including platinum group especially iridium. This is also seen in the lunar breccias and is thought to be from impactor(s) perhaps taking place in the ancient martian highlands early in Mars history. To my knowledge no other martian meteorites have this.

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Sikhote Alin
Steve Brittenham

This Month

Martin Goff
 5/15/2017 4:29:36 PM
Thanks everyone, I'm really pleased I was able to get my hands on this piece and even more pleased that bits of it are winging their way around the world to various researchers and scientists for them to work on :-)
John Divelbiss
 5/15/2017 3:10:45 PM
super nice Martin... congrats. The exact weight looks like an irrational number like PI. Maybe this meteorite can't be solved... :/
Tracy Latimer
 5/15/2017 11:12:53 AM
It looks more like some of the lunars than one might expect. Breccia be breccia? And fossil water!
Jose Garcia
 5/15/2017 7:55:57 AM
Awasome piece... Congratulations!
Shams from Egypt
 5/15/2017 7:01:40 AM
What a wonderful piece of Mars. I am really thankful for showing us such a beauty. Good luck Martin.
Stephen Amara
 5/15/2017 5:31:08 AM
That Black Beauty looks spectacular from the outside as well. What a great group of scientist you have to evaluate this specimen, it must be a absolute pleasure to be the guardian!!
 5/15/2017 4:55:44 AM
Nice pebbles Martian (sorry I mean Martin) :-)...wonder what thet unusual centre clast will show up.
Jorg-Florian Jensch
 5/15/2017 4:16:26 AM
Wow! Very nice fusion crust.
Tomasz Jakubowski
 5/15/2017 2:01:48 AM
spectacular one Martin!

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