New Mineral Discovered in Antarctic Meteorite

Big news for mineral scientists or collectors — a 4.5-billion-year-old meteorite discovered in Antarctica in 1969 contains a mineral previously unknown on Earth. Dubbed Wassonite after John T. Wasson, a UCLA professor known for his achievements in meteorite and impact research, the tiny crystal comprises sulfur and titanium in an interesting new structure.

From the Live Science article:

Grains of Wassonite were analyzed from the meteorite that has been officially designated Yamato 691 enstatite chondrite. Chondrites are primitive meteorites that scientists think were remnants shed from the original building blocks of planets. Most meteorites found on Earth fit into this group.

amato 691 likely originated from an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. It was discovered along with eight other meteorites by members of the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition on the blue ice field of the Yamato Mountains. They constituted the first significant recovery of Antarctic meteorites. Follow-up searches by scientists from Japan and the United States have recovered more than 40,000 specimens, including rare Martian and lunar meteorites.



6 Responses to New Mineral Discovered in Antarctic Meteorite

  1. Got all excited thinking "WOW, they'll have to add a new box to the periodic table.. then I remembered, those are elements :(