The ancient meteorite from the Red Planet excavated from the Sahara Desert reveals the history of Mars. It was unearthed in the year 2011. The meteor has got its nickname as the “Black Beauty.”
It is this ancient meteorite which provides an unprecedented insight into the old processes that is responsible for shaping the Red Planet’s surface. The meteorite was discovered in the Sahar Desert and was designated as the Northwest Africa (NWA) 7034. The approximate weight of the Martian meteorite is not more than three hundred and twenty grams. However, it is its extreme age and the atypical composition that has been exciting the nerves of the researchers to work on it.
It traces its origin back to approximately 4.4 billion years ago and hence accounts to be the most ancient meteorite from the Martian surface.
The group of the geologists classifies the NWA 7034 as the “breccia.” Breccia signifies the fusion of different rock types by the process of heating. Also, this piece of rock contains various kinds of the materials from the Martian surface.
It is for this reason that a research team sets out for a study on the NWA 7034. The team believes that this tiny rock piece would assist them to unveil the mystery of a significant event that happened in the Martian history. Here they are talking about the division of the heavily-cratered southern highlands. It is known to be divided from the smoother plains of the northern lowlands. There is a difference in the elevation between the southern highlands and the lowlands of the north. The difference in the altitude is predicted to be between one and three kilometers.
Dr. Caroline Smith says,”This multi-disciplinary study, combining both traditional and innovative geochemical techniques, has provided us with some exciting new insights into the timings of major processes that shaped young Mars.” Dr. Caroline Smith is the principal curator of the meteorites at the Natural History Museum. He is also the NWA 7034 research team member.
According to the study analysis, all the rocks that resemble the NWA 7034 were a part of the Martian source terrain about 4.4 billion years ago. Simultaneously, they were subjected to the extensive volcanic activity during the period between 1.7 to 1.3 billion years ago. However, the different constituents of the Black Beauty meteorite belong to the period about two hundred million years ago.