This is only the fifth time scientists have confirmed chemically Martian meteorites that people witnessed as they fell. The fireball was spotted in the sky six months ago, but the rocks were not discovered on the ground in North Africa until the end of December. This is an important and unique inspiration for scientists trying to learn about Mars’ potential for life.
Astronomers think millions of years ago something big smashed into Mars and sent rocks hurtling through the solar system. After a long journey through space, one of those rocks plunged through Earth’s atmosphere, splitting into smaller pieces.
Most other Martian meteorite samples sat around on Earth for millions of years, or at the very least for decades, before they were discovered, which makes them tainted with Earth materials and life forms. These new rocks, while still probably be contaminated because they have been on Earth for on a few months, are purer.
The last time a Martian meteorite fell to Earth and was found fresh was in 1962. All the known Martian rocks on Earth add up to less than 240 pounds (110 kilograms).
Source: Yahoo! News
Image: USA Today