Also thanks to AI help: Origin crater of the oldest Martian meteorite identified

Using AI technology, among other things, a research team from Australia has found out where and when a meteorite that fell on Earth was knocked out of Mars. The stone meteorite, designated NWA (Northwest Africa) 7034 and nicknamed “Black Beauty,” was ejected into space five to 10 million years ago, the team explains. It is not known when it hit the ground and when it was found. In 2011 it was bought in Morocco by a collector from the USA. The oldest and most famous Martian meteorite contains rocks that are 4.48 billion years old – only a few tens of millions of years younger than the red planet’s crust. Unlike any other we know, it is made of different rocks. That helped with the search for clues.

As the team led by Anthony Lagain from Curtin University in Perth, Australia, now explains, one of the fastest supercomputers in the southern hemisphere analyzed a “very large amount of high-resolution images from Mars” to find impact craters. A self-developed algorithm then selected the most likely candidates, and based on various criteria only one was left. The research team named the crater they found on Karratha after a small town in northwest Australia. Nearby there are some of the oldest layers of rock on earth.

The Story of NWA 7034 (“Black Beauty”)

(Image: Lagain et al)

Based on the composition of the meteorite and its place of origin, they were then able to precisely trace its history on Mars. According to this, it was created 4.5 billion years ago, 1.5 billion years ago it was thrown away by an impact and partially melted. It was then that he received his extraordinary composition. It was only comparatively recently that he was then sent on his way to earth. The region of origin of “Black Beauty” is an ideal target for missions to Mars that could study the earliest history of its surface, the team writes. This could also provide insights into the early history of the earth.


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