Allan Hills 84001 is a Martian meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984. Northwest Africa 7034, aka Black Beauty, was discovered in the Sahara Desert in 2011. The two meteorites have fascinated scientists ever since they were found. And research on them can’t seem to end, particularly when the rocks suggest that there are two sources of water on Mars.
A recent study focused on the meteorites’ greatest mystery: water. Water was found in both of them, which is one of the reasons scientists believe Mars once hosted life, or at least that it was habitable.
Allan Hills is 4.091 billion years old. A scientific legend says that 17 million years ago, a meteor hit Mars, and Allan Hills was dislocated and thrown at Earth, where it landed 13,000 years ago. Black beauty has ten times more water than any other Martian meteorite, and it formed 2.1 billion years ago, but it has components 4.42 billion years.
Sources Of Water On Mars Could Have Been Revealed Thanks To Martian Meteorites
Researchers recently compared the hydrogen isotopes of the two rocks and ascertained that they have a different ratio. Thus they have various water sources. This led to a more astonishing conclusion: that two of Mars’ planetesimals didn’t mix properly.
Planets are nothing more than the leftovers of the galaxy’s central star. The star takes everything it needs to form, and whatever dust is left accretes into solid materials called planetesimals. By attracting one another, planetesimals then become planets. Like any other union, planetesimals become one, or they don’t.
It looks like in Mars’ formation, two of the planetesimals didn’t reconcile their differences and kept their individualities. This is the explanation scientists consider valid for the different hydrogen isotopes of the two meteorites.
Scientists say that it can also be something else — That is a subsequent collision of another meteor with Mars’ surface left one of the hydrogen traces. Or that one of the meteorites, on its way to Earth, was contaminated with it. Or maybe both, and none of the meteorites are actual proof of Mars’ watery structure, but they do mean something.