(Image source: NASA)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR JAMAL ANDRESS


It’s amazing what you can find in the Sahara Desert: sand, more sand and occasionally a two-billion-year-old rock from Mars.

It’s been nicknamed Black Beauty. This small rock was discovered in 2011 and scientists studying Mars say it’s a once-a-career find. (Image via NASA)

“This Martian meteorite has everything in its composition that you'd want in order to further our understanding of the Red Planet...” said one researcher, adding it “gives us a glimpse of ancient surface and environmental conditions on Mars that no other meteorite has ever offered.” (Via University of New Mexico)

So what’s inside that makes this Mars rock so special? Water. Lots of water. Discovery News says it has...

“...10 times more water than previously discovered Mars meteorites, a finding that raises new questions about when and how long the planet most like Earth in the solar system had conditions suitable for life.”

It’s believed all of these meteorites flew into space during Martian volcano eruptions or when the planet was struck by a comet. So Black Beauty is mostly likely carrying Mars water it brought along for at least 34 million miles. (Image via The Meteoritical Society)

But what’s special about the meteor isn’t just that it’s full of Mars water. It’s also the second oldest Mars rock ever found.

And Nature explains it comes from a time in the planet’s history that scientists are anxious to study.

“It’s also the only known Martian sample on Earth that hails from a critical period, about 2 billion years ago, when Mars is thought to have become colder and drier...”

By studying Black Beauty, scientists hope to get a better understanding of that time period and of the Martian surface in general. A researcher for NASA says it could shake up the field.

“The contents of this meteorite may challenge many long held notions about Martian geology...”

The most immediate impact — the rock will give the Mars rover Curiosity a better frame of reference for what it’s seeing as it looks for organics on the red planet.

Mars Rock Found in Sahara Desert Contains Mars Water

by Steven Sparkman
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Transcript
Jan 3, 2013

Mars Rock Found in Sahara Desert Contains Mars Water

 

(Image source: NASA)

BY STEVEN SPARKMAN
ANCHOR JAMAL ANDRESS


It’s amazing what you can find in the Sahara Desert: sand, more sand and occasionally a two-billion-year-old rock from Mars.

It’s been nicknamed Black Beauty. This small rock was discovered in 2011 and scientists studying Mars say it’s a once-a-career find. (Image via NASA)

“This Martian meteorite has everything in its composition that you'd want in order to further our understanding of the Red Planet...” said one researcher, adding it “gives us a glimpse of ancient surface and environmental conditions on Mars that no other meteorite has ever offered.” (Via University of New Mexico)

So what’s inside that makes this Mars rock so special? Water. Lots of water. Discovery News says it has...

“...10 times more water than previously discovered Mars meteorites, a finding that raises new questions about when and how long the planet most like Earth in the solar system had conditions suitable for life.”

It’s believed all of these meteorites flew into space during Martian volcano eruptions or when the planet was struck by a comet. So Black Beauty is mostly likely carrying Mars water it brought along for at least 34 million miles. (Image via The Meteoritical Society)

But what’s special about the meteor isn’t just that it’s full of Mars water. It’s also the second oldest Mars rock ever found.

And Nature explains it comes from a time in the planet’s history that scientists are anxious to study.

“It’s also the only known Martian sample on Earth that hails from a critical period, about 2 billion years ago, when Mars is thought to have become colder and drier...”

By studying Black Beauty, scientists hope to get a better understanding of that time period and of the Martian surface in general. A researcher for NASA says it could shake up the field.

“The contents of this meteorite may challenge many long held notions about Martian geology...”

The most immediate impact — the rock will give the Mars rover Curiosity a better frame of reference for what it’s seeing as it looks for organics on the red planet.

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