New and Extremely Rare Complete Martian Meteorite
SNC - Balsaltic Shergottite (Mars Rock)
Provisionally paired with NWA 2975, et al.
Found in Algeria in 2005, this is an exceedingly rare complete Martian meteorite. As indicated in this catalogue's Introduction, the rarest meteorites are almost always only available as slices or fragments from larger masses. Not so with this large pebble-sized piece of the planet Mars. As dozens of small specimens were recovered in the same areaseveral of which contained fusion crustit is clear this meteorite was part of a larger mass that broke up in the upper atmosphere. This specimens glossy, burnt-sugar crust and granular green matrix are characteristic of many shergottites (Martian meteorites), including NWA 2975/2986/4766/4783 which were found in the same area and with which this meteorite has been provisionally paired (a geochemical and isotopic match between different meteorites). The total known weight of these meteorites is less than 600 grams.
Significantly, some of these specimens, including the sample offered here, are the only Martian meteorites in which complete specimens are available (meteorites which have not been subdivided as a result of multiple specimens recovered). In addition, this sample of the planet Mars, and the specimens with which it is associated, are the among the freshest Martian samples found in the hot deserts. (Meteorites recovered by scientists in the cold deserts of Antarctica will never be available to the public.)
A copy of the scientific abstract in the Meteoritical Bulletin is included with this complete Martian meteoriteavailable just once in a blue moon.
17 x 13 x 10mm (0.75 x 0.5 x 0.4in) and 4.068 grams