WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists are confirming a recent and rare invasion from Mars: meteorite chunks that fell from the red planet over Morocco last summer.
This is only the fifth time experts have confirmed chemically that fresh Martian rocks fell to Earth. The last time was in 1962. Scientists believe this meteorite fell last July in North Africa because there were sightings of it.
A special committee of meteorite experts, which includes some NASA scientists, confirmed the test results Tuesday. They certified that 15 pounds of meteorite recently collected came from Mars. The biggest rock weighs more than 2 pounds.
Astronomers think that millions of years ago something big smashed into Mars that sent fragments hurtling through the solar system. Occasionally, some fall on Earth.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.