ENP Newswire -
Release date- 23052014 -
Scientists from the
The revolutionary analysis, which uses QEMSCAN technology, applies an electron beam to scan the sample surface and map the chemical composition, and is thought to be the first of its kind conducted by any university worldwide.
Gavyn was hand-picked to conduct the pivotal analysis due not only to his world-class expertise, but because of the unrivalled reputation of CSM for its mineral research.
The sample was brought to Cornwall by Dr
Gavyn, the analytical laboratory manager and Experimental Officer at CSM, which is part of the
'It's a testament to our global reputation here at CSM that we were asked to help, and the results were excellent. We only had access to a small fragment of the original meteorite, but we able to map its mineralogy in very fine detail.
'When you consider the age of the meteorite, and the distance it has travelled through the solar system to reach Earth, it was a remarkable and fascinating opportunity.'
The meteorite, a smooth black rock called NWA 7533, was recovered in the Sahara Desert in 2012, and contains pieces of Mars' original 4.4 billion crust. As one of the oldest planetary artefacts ever discovered, it offers a unique insight into some of the very earliest surface conditions after the planet was formed.
Their analysis was able to map the breccia texture of the sample in very high detail, and showed that the sample was mainly composed of pyroxenes, with K-feldspar and plagioclase feldspars, zircon, chloroapatite, Fe sulphides, chromite and ilmenite.
The meteorite is almost as old as the Earth, which is believed to be around 4.54 billion years old.
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