Scientists Found 2 New Minerals from El Ali Meteorite

Written by Reananda Hidayat Permono Completed Master of Science - MS, Petroleum Geology from Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Scientists have identified two new minerals that have never been seen on Earth in a meteorite weighing 33,150 pounds (15.2 metric tons).

According to a news release from the University of Alberta, it becomes the ninth-largest meteorite human ever found. The meteorite was discovered in Somalia last year.

Curator of the university's meteorite collection, Chris Herd, explained his microscope couldn’t identify some parts of the sample.

Later, he sought advice from Andrew Locock, who has experience in describing new minerals. Locock examined the meteorite samples and said there were at least two new minerals in the sample.

The first mineral was named elaliite; people call the space object “El Ali” meteorite because it was found near El Ali town in central Somalia.

The second one is called elkinstantonite after Lindy Elkins-Tanton, the vice president of Arizona State University’s Interplanetary Initiative.

Elkins-Tanton also has done a lot of work on space exploration, including being the principal investigator of NASA’s Psyche mission.

Both new minerals are phosphates (salts or esters of phosphoric acid) of iron.

Herd said the minerals from the El Ali meteorite had been sent to find its buyer in China. In the meantime, researchers are analyzing the meteorite sample to find a potential third mineral.

Newly discovered materials can open various thrilling implications for the future.

Designed by Alexander Rabu