Center for Meteorite Studies

Nakhla is a martian achondrite that fell June 28th, 1911, in Al Buhayrah, Egypt.  Nakhla is one of only 5 martian meteorites to be witnessed as it fell to Earth.

At the time of the fall, a newspaper article was published claiming the meteorite had hit a dog on entry.  This was never proven, but did inspire a Peanuts cartoon strip, in which Linus and Charlie Brown discuss the meteorite striking a dog, to Snoopy’s dismay.

Director Meenakshi Wadhwa and her research group are interested in deciphering the geologic history and evolution of Mars through trace element and isotopic studies of the martian meteorites, and Nakhla has been actively studied by Center researchers. This work has primarily focused on determining redox conditions in the mantle and crust on Mars through studies of rare earth element abundances.  Additional studies have targeted  the early differentiation history of Mars through investigations of the 146Sm-142Nd and 182Hf-182W short-lived isotope systems in the martian meteorites, and constraining the composition of aqueous crystal fluids on Mars through analysis of the boron isotope composition of the Nakhla meteorite.

Nakhla is the namesake for the nakhlite meteorite type group, made up of 14 distinct meteorites, and defined by the Meteoritical Society as clinopyroxenites or wehrlites formed as cumulate rocks.

Currently,  Ph.D. candidate Curtis Williams is analyzing the lithium isotope composition of the martian meteorites, while Ph.D. candidate Prajkta Mane and M.S. student Kera Tucker are utilizing the hydrogen isotope composition of the martian meteorites, determined using secondary ion mass spectrometry, to provide unique insights into the history of water on Mars and alteration of the martian crust.

Photo copyright L. Garvie/CMS/ASU

Photo copyright L. Garvie/CMS/ASU


Category: Meteorites

Comments are closed.

Sign Up for Center Updates!

Be the first to learn about CMS events and news; sign up for email updates here!


Facebook
Twitter
YouTube


Upcoming Events

December 2016
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
November 27, 2016 November 28, 2016 November 29, 2016 November 30, 2016 December 1, 2016 December 2, 2016 December 3, 2016
December 4, 2016 December 5, 2016 December 6, 2016 December 7, 2016 December 8, 2016 December 9, 2016 December 10, 2016
December 11, 2016 December 12, 2016 December 13, 2016 December 14, 2016 December 15, 2016 December 16, 2016 December 17, 2016
December 18, 2016 December 19, 2016 December 20, 2016 December 21, 2016 December 22, 2016 December 23, 2016 December 24, 2016
December 25, 2016 December 26, 2016 December 27, 2016 December 28, 2016 December 29, 2016 December 30, 2016 December 31, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to find the answers to the most common questions asked of the Center for Meteorite Studies!


Graduate Student Spotlight - Prajkta Mane

Prajkta Mane received her B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Mumbai (St. Xavier’s College) in 2008, followed by her M.Sc. in Applied Geology from the Indian Institute of Technology …


Meteorite of the Month

Nuevo Mercurio

December’s Meteorite of the Month is Nuevo Mercurio, an H5 (ordinary) chondrite that fell the evening of December 15, 1978, in Zacatecas, Mexico. According to the Meteoritical Bulletin (MB 57): …


CMS News

Catch up on all the latest news from the Center for Meteorite Studies!