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Thread: question on meteorite from mars

  1. #1 question on meteorite from mars 
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    how did they determine its origin? tx.


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    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
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    The return address?


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    See. I thought NASA checked the passport.

    Then, I thought better of posting such a smart alec useless post. Now, Cosmo, you're making me look bad...
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    mvb
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    The determination of the origin of these meteorites is nicely discussed at Martian Meteorites. In brief, it involves analyses of gasses trapped in glassy inclusions in the meteorite, ratios of abundances of different elements, and ratios of the amounts present of different isotopes of a few elements.
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    It's H2O. Some elements only form certain rock types in the presence of water. A meteorite with these rock types had to come from a planet with those elements and water. Mars is the only other place so far where that is true.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
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    It is chemically statistical analysis. Just from what we know. But it could just has well been a meteorite from which mars was build up from. Up to a certain extend cosmic causality only goes so far.
    In the information age ignorance is a choice.
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  8. #7  
    mvb
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    It is chemically statistical analysis. Just from what we know. But it could just has well been a meteorite from which mars was build up from. Up to a certain extend cosmic causality only goes so far.
    From what I have read, the arguments against their being from a class of meteorites that have never been incorporated in Mars itself are

    1) The trapped gas has the composition of Mars's atmosphere. That composition came about from a long series of transformations after essentially all of Mars had accumulated.

    2) These meteorites are noticeably different from the other classes of meteorites found on Earth, and they appear to be isotopically separated from the others further than they are from Mars.

    3) Somewhat less important perhaps, there is evidence that the "Martian" meteorites were transformed in a hot, shocked environment consistent with their being knocked off that planet by an impact event. If there were so such evidence, there could be serious concern about how they got here no matter what their composition was. Hence this evidence is useful for consistency.

    Of course, someone could come up with contrary evidence that would change scientists' minds about their origin. I think that at this point that is rather unlikely.
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