herald

Friday 22 September 2017

Meteorites fell from Mars on to Morocco

THEY came from Mars, not in peace, but in pieces.

Scientists have confirmed that 15lbs of rock (inset) collected recently in Morocco fell to Earth from Mars during a meteorite shower last July.

It is only the fifth time in history that scientists have chemically confirmed Martian meteorites that people witnessed falling.

The fireball was spotted in the sky six months ago, but the rocks were not discovered until the end of December.

This is an important opportunity for scientists trying to learn about Mars. So far, no spacecraft has returned bits of Mars, so the only samples scientists can examine are from meteorite showers.

Known Martian meteorite falls happen only once every 50 years or so -- in 1815 in France, 1865 in India, 1911 in Egypt and 1962 in Nigeria.

hnews@herald.ie

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