Meteorite from Mars moon Phobos


Houston, TX, Apr. 22 2004 (UPI) -- A Russian scientist believes an unusual meteorite that arrived on a military base in Yemen in 1980 could be a piece of Phobos, a Martian moon.

"I can't find a better candidate," Andrei Ivanov of the Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry in Moscow told the New Scientist Thursday.

Several of recovered meteorites from Mars have been found on Earth of some 23,000 catalogued, but this could be the only piece of Martian moon rock, which was named the Kaidun find.

Working with Michael Zolensky of the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Ivanov used electron microscopes, X-rays and vaporization to determined the fist-sized rock's components.

Among the odd materials found were two fragments of volcanic rock, which only forms in massive, planet-like bodies with a core, mantle and crust.

Ivanov's theory is only one concerning the meteorite. His colleague, Zolensky, according to the report, believes an unusual asteroid could have been the source.