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Never Before Seen Mineral Discovered Inside Meteorite.

First found in 1951, the Wedderburn meteorite should have just been any other space rock that found itself in our vicinity. After all, most space rocks and the majority of meteorites that we received revealed more about how space worked than about them, being made up of mostly rock and a few other minerals.

With that being said however, the Wedderburn meteorite surely wasn't, and scientists have recently found out why.

Better Than Gold

Found along the side of a road in Wedderburn, a remote Australian gold rush town, the strange-looking chunk of space rock has baffled scientists for decades. Measuring 210 centimeters and splattered with red spots, it didn't look like any meteorite, and thanks to a new research, we now know why.

Per a recent study led by Caltech mineralogist Chi Ma, the red-and-black rock is now revealed to contain our (https://www.sciencealert.com/mineral-never-seen-in-nature-found-buried-in-heart-of-mysterious-meteorite) first-everA natural encounter with a mineral they called 'edscottite.' According to the research, the mineral is apparently a rare type of iron-carbide, and it's never been found in nature before.

Since its discovery, numerous researches have already been done on the rock, so much that only one-third of the original specimen remains, with the rest of it taken away in a number of slices. As of now, what remains of the specimen is held in the geological collection of Australia's Museums Victoria.

Previous analysis of the slices revealed that the meteorite also contain traces of naturally-occurring minerals such as gold and iron. Traces of rare minerals have also been found, including taenite, troilite, kamacite and schreibersite. However, the study led by Ma provides the first ever instance of edscottite.

Non-Naturally Occurring Mineral

Named after meteorite expert and cosmochemist Edward Scott, the distinct atomic formulation behind edscottite is thought as one that doesn't occur naturally, until now.

"We have discovered 500,000 to 600,000 minerals in the lab, but fewer than 6,000 that nature's done itself," Stuart Mills, who is a senior curator for Museums Victoria's geosciences, said. He is not involved in the study.

Following this discovery, edscottite is now reported as an official member of the IMA's mineral club.

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Publication:Medical Daily
Date:Sep 3, 2019
Words:360
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