Field Museum's Newest Meteorite Puzzles Scientists

Tuesday, Jan 14, 2014  |  Updated 12:00 PM CDT
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Scientists aren’t exactly sure where a mysterious new meteorite came from, but its bright green hue is certainly bringing one super planet to mind.

While it’s probably not from Krypton, the newest member of the Field Museum’s meteorite collection is puzzling scientists.

While most meteorites look like a black or grey chunk of rock, this one is bright green and looks more gem-like than other meteorites in the collection, according to museum officials. Even more perplexing is the rock’s chemical composition, which has proven impossible to classify.

The meteorite, named Northwest Africa 7325, was found in South Morocco in early 2012 and likely comes from an asteroid in the space between Mars and Jupiter, officials said.

One scientist speculates that the rock may have originated from the planet Mercury; however, there is not enough evidence to support that claim just yet.

Dr. Philipp Heck, Robert A. Pritzker Associate Curator, says that the addition to The Field’s collection will make it more accessible to the scientific community in Chicago and around the world.

“This rock comes from a planetary body that has not been sampled before,” he said in a statement. “Its study will enhance our picture of the diversity of planets in our solar system, and help better understand the formation of the planets, including Earth.”
 

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