Antarctica Scientists Discover Space Mineral Never Before Observed in Nature

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A  research team that included experts from the US, Japan and South Korea, have discovered a new mineral, called "Wassonite", buried in a meteorite discovered in Antarctica in 1969. The meteorite, which may have broken off an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter, is 4.5 billion years old. 

The new mineral was discovered within the meteorite officially designated Yamato 691 enstatite chondrite. The meteorite was discovered the same year as other landmark meteorites, Allende and Murchison, and the return of the first Apollo lunar samples.


One of many thousands that were recovered from the Yamato Mountains, near Japan's Antarctic base, It took researchers more than 40 years to find the never-before-seen mineral.

NASA space scientist Keiko Nakamura-Messenger, who headed the research team, said  "Wassonite is a mineral formed from only two elements, sulphur and titanium, yet it possesses a unique crystal structure that has not been previously observed in nature," he said.

The new mineral is named after John T. Wasson, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, a pioneer in meteorite and impact research. Several other unknown minerals were found surrounding Wassonite and are currently being analyzed.

The Daily Galaxy via news.com.au

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