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Meteorite from Mars

Landscape of the surface of Mars

The surface of Mars. Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell/ASU

Our meteorite from Mars is a piece of another world that has excited and intrigued people since it fell to Earth more than 40 years ago. The meteorite, known as the 'Zagami Shergottite', is thought to have originated from Mars and fell in north-central Nigeria on October 3rd 1962.

The fine-grained meteorite is a volcanic rock similar to basalt found on the Earth and was probably erupted from a volcano on Mars some 163 million years ago during the time of the dinosaurs.

Small bubbles within the shocked glassy matrix of the meteorite revealed a composition that matched that of the Martian atmosphere as measured by the Viking landers and by later more recent spacecraft. It was ejected from Mars about 2.9 million years ago and eventually fell to Earth.

You can find this meteorite in the Space gallery| on the fifth floor of the museum.