Earth's Most Abundant, But Hidden Mineral Revealed: Page 2


The meteorite, Ma said, is highly shocked, meaning it endured high temperatures and pressures as it slammed into other rocks in space. Those impacts can create shock veins of minerals within the meteorites.

"Scientists have identified high-pressure minerals in its shock-melt veins since 1960s. Now we have identified bridgmanite," Tschauner said, referring to the Tenham meteorite.

The meteorite is considered a chondrite, the most common type of meteorite found on Earth; scientists think these meteorites are remnants shed from the original building blocks of planets.

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Most meteors (which are called meteorites once they strike Earth) are fragments of asteroids, while others are the cosmic dust discarded by comets. Rarely, meteorites represent impact debris from the moon and from Mars.

Ma and Tschauner used various methods to characterize the extracted mineral, including so-called synchrotron X-ray diffraction mapping and high-resolution scanning electron microscopy.

After five years of work, including multiple experiments, Ma and Tschauner sent their data for review to the International Mineralogical Association's Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC), according to the AGU blog. The commission approved the mineral and new name on June 2.

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