Mars is attacking! Well, kind of but not really. Scientists have confirmed today that 15 pounds of rock fell from Mars onto Morocco in a meteorite shower last July. (Yes, they’re positive it wasn’t Thor).
This is only the fifth time in history that scientists can recall Mars falling onto Earth. And yes, people saw it happen! The fireballs were spotted in the sky around six months ago, and the rocks were just discovered this past December.
The experts know that the rocks are from Mars due to their rocks age and chemical signature, something they know because of numerous probes sent there. They also think that many years ago, something big smashed into Mars and sent its debris all around.
Most of Mars remnants sit on Earth for many years before they’re discovered, that’s another reason why the scientists are so excited. These rocks are fresh, and they haven’t been tainted by Earth’s ecology. Martian rocks are rarer and more valuable than gold. Pieces are being bought and sold for $11,000- $22,500 USD an ounce.
NASA and the Russian spacecraft have both failed at ever bringing back a piece of Mars, so all of these scientists are bursting at the seams with excitement. "It's Christmas in January," said former NASA sciences chief Alan Stern, director of the Florida Space Institute at the University of Central Florida, "It's nice to have Mars sending samples to Earth, particularly when our pockets are too empty to go get them ourselves."
If alien movies have taught us anything, something “falling” from another planet is only the beginning…