Thursday, November 14, 2013

At the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven: “From Mercury to Earth: A Meteorite Like No Other”

NEW HAVENThe exhibit “From Mercury to Earth: A Meteorite Like No Other,” at the Yale Peabody Museumof Natural History “will have a chance to see something they have never seen before: a piece of the planet Mercury,” according to a release.

The piece of the meteorite, dubbed NWA 7325, was discovered in 2012 “as a scattering of 35 green stones in the western Sahara Desert in Morocco,” the release said. “It is widely believed to be the only potential fragment of the planet Mercury on Earth.”

“Mercury is the innermost planet of our solar system and the smallest of eight planets. The Peabody exhibit, which will be on view through September 2, 2014, also delves into the anatomy of the planet, informing visitors about its orbit, atmosphere, geography and surface gravity,” the release said.

“Conditions are quite different from those on Earth; for instance, a human weighing 150 pounds here would weigh only 57 pounds on Mercury.”

The exhibit opens Nov. 22. Learn more about the Peabody, including directions and hours, here.

“Meteorite discoveries from other planets are extremely rare. Out of the almost 47,000 known meteorites, there are only 67 known from Mars and only 177 from our own moon,” the release said. “NWA 7325 is the first meteorite believed to originate from one of the other six planets. It has a lustrous olive-green crust formed by surface melting while passing through the Earth’s atmosphere. While greenish fusion crusts are known from several lunar meteorites, none are as brightly colored as that of NWA 7325.”


Photo: Courtesy of SR-Meteorites.
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