‘ALIEN’ Minerals Found in 15 Ton Meteorite That Fell in Africa

A team of researchers from the University of Alberta has discovered at least two new minerals never seen before on Earth in a 15-tonne meteorite that fell in East Africa.

Unearthed in Somalia in 2020 this meteorite is the ninth largest ever found. When the researchers cut a two-ounce section of the space rock they found two new minerals called “elaliite” and “elkinstanonite”. Details about these minerals remain limited.

“Every time you find a new mineral it means that the real geological conditions, the chemistry of the rock were different from what was found before.

“That’s what makes this discovery exciting: in this particular meteorite you have two officially described minerals that are new to science,” said Chris Herd, professor in the department of earth and atmospheric sciences and curator of the meteorite collection at the University of Alberta. , in a press release.

Western researchers named the space rock “El Ali” because it was discovered near the town of El Ali in the Hiiraan region of Somalia.

According to Herd, the two new minerals were discovered on the first day of sample analysis. He added that “most of the time it takes a lot more work than that to say there’s a new mineral.”

Similar minerals were created synthetically in the laboratory by French researchers in the 1980s, but have never been found in nature.

Herd also said that these new mineral discoveries could one day benefit humanity:

“Whenever a new material is known, materials scientists are also interested in it because of its potential use in a wide range of things in society.

Reports show that the space rock was sent to China with meteorites being frequently bought and sold in international markets.

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