Brussels researchers to study Martian meteorite

Tuesday, 26 June 2018 16:34
Brussels researchers to study Martian meteorite © Belga
A Martian meteorite collected during a 2012-2013 Belgian-Japanese campaign in the Antarctic arrived in Belgium on Tuesday to be examined in detail by researchers in Brussels, the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) announced on Tuesday.
The meteriorite will be studied by researchers from the ULB and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).

In 2012 and 2013, a Belgian-Japanese campaign was carried out in Antartica to collect meteorites with financial support from the federal scientific policy agency, BELSPRO, and logistical support from the International Polar Foundation, the ULB said in a press release. A Martian meteorite named Asuka 12325, in reference to the code name of the Princess Elisabeth Station in Antartica, was collected.

The Belgian researchers will now be able to study it to find out, for example, the age of the volcanic activity that formed it and to understand how Mars cooled down and developed a volcanic crust, the ULB explained. "These samples are precious for best preparing future Mars sample-return missions in the next 10 years,” it added.

Over 59,000 meteorites have been counted worldwide, 0.35% of them from the Red Planet, the university indicated. Researchers have never observed a meteorite leaving Mars, but Martian meteorites contain gas bubbles with the same composition as the planet’s atmosphere, measured by U.S. probes in the 1970s.

Thus far, 209 meteorites from Mars have been counted, 171 of them from the Shergotty family, named after the town in India where one of them fell in 1865. The meteorite brought to Belgium belongs to that family.

Andy Sanchez
The Brussels Times
Google Plus

More Stories

Restaurant turns away families with children – justified or not?

Restaurant turns away families with children – justified or not?

The food service industry and the dining public were split into two factions this week, after news that a restaurant in the seaside resort of Nieuwpoort had turned away a mother and child.

Doctors who sign off on protesting police may be breaking the law

Doctors who sign off on protesting police may be breaking the law

The Belgian medical association has warned its members that signing a medical certificate for a police officer to allow them to take part in a work to rule could constitute a criminal offence.

Minister overturns bike ban on rush-hour trains

Minister overturns bike ban on rush-hour trains

Just days after it was announced that the rail authority SNCB would stop carrying non-folding bicycles during rush hours, the measure has been dropped on the orders of federal mobility minister François Bellot (pictured).