Martian Rock Found in Sahara Thrills Experts
2B-year-old stone holds more water than others
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jan 4, 2013 5:41 AM CST
A rock from Mars that landed in the Sahara Desert.   (AP Photo/University of New Mexico, Carl Agee)

(Newser) – After a rock from Mars was discovered in the Sahara desert, scientists investigated it for a year—and they're fascinated by what they've learned. At an estimated two billion years old, the rock is older than most Martian meteorites and holds more water, the AP reports. And it offers an opportunity for scientists to study the planet without having to drop by. "Here we have a piece of Mars that I can hold in my hands," says an expert at the University of New Mexico.

So how did the rock get here? Experts think a giant object, such as an asteroid, hit Mars and knocked rocks into space. Some 65 have now been found on Earth, typically in the Sahara or Antarctica, and this one, dubbed "Black Beauty," is the second-oldest known Martian meteorite that formed from a volcanic eruption. Scientists know it's from Mars thanks to chemical analysis. The rock's high water content points to interaction with water when the planet was mostly dry. Future tests will establish how long the rock floated in space and how long it had been sitting in the Sahara.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Martian Rock Found in Sahara Thrills Experts is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 21 comments
Jan 6, 2013 9:08 PM CST
If our Billion Dollar Curosity Rover can't tell if the Martian "flower" is a flower, how the hect can we prove this Rock came from Mars. Has Curosity run into this rock already?...I don't think so. Come on America...this stone could be from anywhere in the Universe. From any of the 100 Billion planets. Please listen to me, don't listen to these jokers who have no positive proof that it came from Mars. There are still billions of stones flying through the Universe as a result of the Big Bang Theory. You see them every night......Shooting Stars.....aka meteors..... I am not going to very well liked by these scientists.
Jan 5, 2013 8:47 PM CST
Anyone here ever here of Immanuel Velikovsky and his "Worlds in Collision" and "Ages in Chaos?"
Jan 5, 2013 12:43 PM CST
It is the Black Stone of the Kaaba .