Two never-before-seen minerals have been discovered in a meteorite

Two minerals never before seen on earth have been discovered in a meteorite found in Somalia.

Similar minerals were created synthetically in the laboratory in the 1980s, but this is the first time they have been observed in nature.

This ensured that the researchers were able to identify them quickly.

“When you find a new mineral, it means that the geological conditions and the chemistry of the rock in which it formed were different from what has been observed by science so far,” explains Chris Herd, a professor of the University of Alberta, in a publication on the institution’s website.

The new minerals have been named Elaliite and Elkinstantonite, one in reference to the meteorite that bears the name “El Ali”, and the other in homage to scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton, whose research focuses primarily on evolution. terrestrial planetary.

These new substances could eventually have uses in everyday life.

‘When a new material is discovered, materials scientists are also interested, because these discoveries are likely to be used in a wide range of things in society,’ says Herd.

Further study of these minerals could also lead to discoveries about the background that led to the formation of the asteroid that included the El Ali meteor, the ninth largest on record.

Both minerals were discovered in a 70 gram parcel of the latter which was sent to the University of Alberta for analysis.

The University of Alberta researchers believe that other new minerals could eventually be discovered in other parts of the meteorite.