A meteorite fragment from Mars that reached Planet Earth an estimated 450 million years ago has piggybacked home on board the Mars Perseverance rover.
The meteorite fragment, named ‘Sayh Al Uhaymir 008’, was found near the town of Haima in Oman in 1999 and had since been held at the Natural History Museum in London.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, determined the fragment was not of earthly origin and was, in fact, from Mars.
The fragment, weighing 8.58 kilogrammes (18.92 lbs) is believed to have made its way to Earth following a comet or asteroid strike on Mars.
The rare rock was one of a reported 424 meteorite fragments of Martian origin found on Earth.
The fragment was recently returned to Mars along with the rover Perseverance in NASA’s Mars Exploration Programme.
It was returned partly in order to help process photos taken by the rover to their true colours.
The returning of extra-planetary material from Earth to its prior location is believed to be a world first.
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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