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Cumbrian Sky

Here we go again…

26 Nov 2009, 21:11 UTC
Here we go again…
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

After being out of the media spotlight for a few years, that ugly, green-brown rock you see above this text is about to hit the headlines again. In a big way.
You see, that ugly looking chunk of stone is actually ALH84001, the most famous meteorite in history. ALH84001 is one of those rare “martian meteorites” – a piece of rock that was blown off Mars by an asteroid impact some 16 million years ago, and landed on Earth millions of years later, specifically on the snowy plains of Antarctica, as a “meteorite”. Its name tells you all about its discovery history: “ALH” stands for “Allan Hills”, which is a region of Antarctica. “84″ tells you it was found in 1984. ( And, um, I’m not sure what the “01″ bit stands for, to be honest! ) It sat there in Antarctica for many thousands of years before it was found by meteorite-hunting scientists, but it wasn’t recognised as being from Mars at the time, and was basically locked away in a vault for years until it was examined. That’s when the scientists discovered it was actually from Mars, and took a closer look – a much closer look.
Finally, ...

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