List of minerals ever discovered by humans will close in 2022 two new additionsA team of researchers discovered them in a 15-ton meteorite fragment found in Somalia.
baptized as she called (for Somali city el alideer near the region in which it was found) and elk staten (for Lindy Elkins-TantonVice President of the Interplanetary Initiative at the University of Arizona and one of the leading researchers on the formation of planetary nuclei), both come from the same 70 gram piece That was sent to the University of Alberta for classification, while a third potential mineral is currently under study.
“Whenever a new mineral is found, it means that the actual geological conditions, the chemistry of the rock, were different from what was previously found,” he said in a statement. chris herd, professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and curator of the University of Alberta Meteorite Collection. “That’s what makes this exciting: This particular meteorite contains two officially described minerals that are new to science.” If researchers were to obtain other samples of the giant meteorite – the ninth largest found – there is potential to find even more minerals, he says.
Working with researchers from the University of California and the California Institute of Technology, Hurd classified the El Ali meteorite as an “Iron, IAB Complex” meteorite, one of more than 350 in that particular category.
Seeing something that caught his attention while analyzing it, he turned to the experience of Professor Andrew LowcockDirector of the Electron Microprobe Laboratory at the University of Arizona, who has participated in other descriptions of new minerals, such as haemanite (Ce).
“The first day they did some analysis, they said, ‘You’ve got at least two new minerals there,'” says Hurd, who described the findings at the University of Space Exploration Symposium 2022, held Nov. 21-22. Alberta. “That was phenomenal. Most of the time it takes a lot of work to say there is a new mineral.”
The rapid identification of Lokok was possible because two minerals were previously created artificiallyHe was therefore able to compare the composition of the newly discovered natural minerals with those of their man-made counterparts.
Now, researchers are continuing to examine the minerals to determine what they can tell us about the conditions at the time the meteorite formed.
While the future of the rocky body remains uncertain, Hurd says researchers have received word that it appears to have been taken to China in search of a potential buyer. the next step would be Find out if additional samples are available for scientific purposes.