Scientists Uncover Mystery of Green Meteorite, State it is from Mercury

First Posted: Mar 30, 2013 07:41 AM EDT

Scientists discovered that the strange green rock discovered last year in Morocco may be from the closest planet to the sun, stating that it is the first meteorite from Mercury.

Last year, nearly 35 meteorite samples were discovered in Morocco, out of which a green colored space rock was unique and drew the attention of scientists. A team of professors from the University of Washington carefully studied the meteorites. The green space rock was named NWA 7325. Carbon dating estimates that the rocks are 4.56 billion years old.

The mystery of the space rock NWA 7325 was unveiled by meteorite scientist Anthony Irving, who presented his findings during the 44th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas.

"It might be a sample from Mercury, or it might be a sample from a body smaller than Mercury but is like Mercury," Irving was quoted as saying in The Inquisitr.

The reason this space rock was different and did not resemble any of the rocks documented till date is because space rocks from Mars and Vesta carry chemically distinct characteristic, which was absent in NWA 7325.

Irving and his team predict that the meteorite was expelled from a planet that had flowing magma on its exterior at some point in history. The space rock NW 7325 could have been formed as scum on the top of the planet's magma. 

They found that the green space rock had a low magnetic intensity when compared to any other space rocks documented till date. On considering the data sent by NASA's Messenger spacecraft that is currently orbiting Mercury, the closet planet Mercury has low magnetism that matches the characteristics of NWA 7325.

Apart from this, they noted that the meteorite has low iron content and even Mercury's surface is very low in iron content. This confirms that the meteorite's parent body matches Mercury.

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