Two minerals that have never been seen before on Earth have been discovered inside a massive meteorite in Somalia. They could hold important clues to how asteroids form.
The two brand new minerals were found inside a single 2.5 ounce (70 gram) slice taken from the 16.5 ton (15 metric tons) El Ali meteorite, which was found in 2020. Scientists named the minerals elaliite after the meteor and elkinstantonite after Lindy Elkins-Tanton (opens in new tab), the managing director of the Arizona State University Interplanetary Initiative and principal investigator of NASA's upcoming Psyche mission, which will send a probe to investigate the mineral-rich Psyche asteroid for evidence of how our solar system's planets formed.
"Whenever you find a new mineral, it means that the actual geological conditions, the chemistry of the rock, was different than what's been found before," Chris Herd (opens in new tab), a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, said in a statement (opens in new tab). "That's what makes this exciting: In this particular meteorite you have two officially described minerals that are new to science."
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The researchers classified El Ali as an Iron IAB complex meteorite, a type made of meteoric iron flecked with tiny chunks of silicates. While investigating the meteorite slice, details of the new minerals caught the scientists' attention. By comparing the minerals with versions of them that had been previously synthesized in a lab, they were able to rapidly identify them as newly recorded in nature.
The researchers plan to investigate the meteorites further in order to understand the conditions under which their parent asteroid formed. "That's my expertise — how you tease out the geologic processes and the geologic history of the asteroid this rock was once part of," Herd said. "I never thought I'd be involved in describing brand new minerals just by virtue of working on a meteorite."
The team is also looking into material science applications of the minerals.
However, future scientific insights from the El Ali meteorite could be in peril. The meteorite has now been moved to China in search of a potential buyer, which could limit researchers' access to the space rock for investigation.
So the part about "crashed to Earth in 2020" is incorrect.
Meteoritical Bulletin: Entry for El Ali
One of them do, elaliite, after El Ali.
Found and landing/crashed into are vastly different scenarios.
A meteorite could still be somewhere undiscovered in Earth's layers, or barely touched land masses. You can also have a meteorite, or other materials from history for the matter, be discovered, but not as well looked over for decades, or longer. That's the main reason why advancements in technology have a teetering effect for pros and cons. The main pros are scientific finds/ability to identify and analyze composites, estimated dates, any potential living matter, other elements to add onto our list, and much more. Finding something that's this rare is huge. There's zero chance we have found, let alone deeply studied every possible meteorite on earth, and the older they have crashed onto our planet the less likely it is for us to have discovered it to fully research.
The article isn't inaccurate. This is the year they found the object being discussed.
Kenya invaded Somalia on USA's behalf using the excuse of an attack that was launched against it's US embassy, Somalia's government refused any involvement, publicly criticised the attack, not to mention the fact that USA was already killing Somalians in flock using Kenya as a base. Then US backed militaries entered the country, ousted the government, installed one of it's own, the predominantly Christian soldiers shown inhuman brutality to the Somali people and Muslim radicalism raised who no longer respect democratic process, watch every foreign involvement as as enemy collaboration (even Turkish involevement) and want to gain power by force. The fight is ongoing and this year Somalia will probably face a massive famine.