ALH 84001 - Paper - A LH84001- A Meteorite Page 1 of 12...

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Date: 11/18/09 Name: Charmi Patel Subject: Current Topics 341 (Paper 2) Instructor: Prof. Brunet It should not be too hard to accept the fact that humankind comes across new discoveries and inventions, continuously. Likewise, all the attention of the crowd was driven by ALH84001 that was found in December 1984. Initially, it was extremely surprising for the world even to think that life might exist at someplace else, other than the Earth. This rain of stones falling from the sky brought a possibility of the life to exist on a different planet other than our motherland –“The Earth.” Page 2 of 12
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ALH84001 is a meteorite that fell on the Earth from space. It was found from the Far Western of Allan Hills Icefield, Antarctica, during the 1984-1985 by a team of meteorite hunters from the ANSMET (ANtarctic Search for METeorites) program, which was sponsored by the Polar Programs Office of the U.S. National Science Foundation that has been funded since 1977 by NSF. At that time, ANSMET meteorite hunters found more than 7000 meteorites. At first, it was ~ 4 and ¾ pounds (i.e. ~ 1.93 kilograms) profound. It looked like a large potato or a rounded brick that lengthen ~6 by 4 by 3 inches. Moreover, the evidence shows that it was covered with the black glass, as if it was dipped in a tar, to some extinct. It is interesting to know that this glass are called fusion crust which forms on all meteorites, once they are burnt while coming in contact with the atmosphere of the Earth. It was really exciting to the expeditions when they found ALH84001 to be green in color from inside; however, the ancient ALH84001 looks much grayish than green from inside. It is believed that it was originally formed from an ancient Martian volcano, about 4.5 billion years ago; scientifically this is called as an igneous age. According to the knowledge of geologists, this meteorite that was formed from molten lava is an igneous rock that is similar to many of the crystallized rocks from the lava inside of the Earth. It resembled and was classified to be one of the diogenites - an important group of igneous meteorites, until its Martian origin was recognized and properly identified to be SNC (shergottites, nakhlites, and chassignites) by David Mittlefehldt, 1994. About 4.0 billion years ago, once this meteorite was crystallized from the molten lava and was cooled, it was again heated and deformed by a strong shock. It is believed that this happened due to the nearby impact of an asteroid or a meteorite. After this impact, ~ 3.6 billion years ago, some type of liquid was flowed out of ALH84001 which then deposited round Page 3 of 12
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globules of carbonate minerals. And these carbonate globules are assumed to have the possible Martian fossils. More recent event that we can see in ALH 84001 is another shock event. From the investigation made, this shock might have come from the meteorite impact that lofted ALH 84001 off the Mars. The truth is- people have never been to Mars and therefore no rocks have ever been
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This note was uploaded on 03/11/2011 for the course CURRENT TO 341 taught by Professor Brunet during the Spring '11 term at American Internation College.

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ALH 84001 - Paper - A LH84001- A Meteorite Page 1 of 12...

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