NWA 7397 — Complete Martian Meteorite with Fusion Crust
Lot 2141
NWA 7397 — Complete Martian Meteorite with Fusion Crust
US$ 38,000 - 45,000
£23,000 - 27,000
Auction Details
Natural History Los Angeles
22 May 2013 13:00 PDT

Auction 21217
Lot Details
NWA 7397 — Complete Martian Meteorite with Fusion Crust
SNC – Shergottite / Mars Rock
Sahara Desert, Morocco

Similar to the previous lot, this is among the very best complete meteorite specimens originating from the NWA 7397 Martian meteorite shower. The vast majority of specimens from this fall are highly weathered fragments with little fusion crust (the telltale evidence of its fiery descent through Earth's atmosphere). Not so as regards this superlative specimen covered with large swatches of sought-after crust. If this meteorite were cut, its interior matrix would be identical to that seen in the previous lot. Samples of the planet Mars are among the most exotic substances on Earth. In addition to a highly specific signature of chemical, structural and isotopic markers, meteorites from Mars share the following essential characteristics: they possess an unusually young crystalline age (so they can't be from Earth); they contain water-bearing minerals (so they can't be from the asteroid belt), and there is evidence of a planetary sized gravitational field on their crystalline structure. Earth's two closest planets, Mars and Venus, became the two most likely candidates of origin; as Mars is smaller than Venus and as its atmosphere is thinner than the Venusian atmosphere, scientists surmised that these exotic meteorites were most likely from Mars. It was in 1997 that the smoking gun appeared. Inside thick veins of impact glass found in two suspected Martian meteorites were tiny voids...and in those voids were tiny samples of gas...that perfectly matched the Martian atmosphere—as determined by NASA's Viking missions to Mars. Accompanied by the scientific abstract detailing its composition, which paved the way to its acceptance into a very select club, this is an important offering of a superlative example of NWA 7397, and a distinguished complete meteorite from the planet Mars. Measures 48 x 46 x 41mm (2 x 1.75 x 1.75 inches) and weighs 141.27 grams.


  • Provenance: Backplate Collection of Meteorites.
  1. Tom Lindgren
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