Researchers in Canada have discovered two new minerals in a meteorite that landed in Somalia.

 

About the minerals

  • The 15-tonne El Ali meteorite was unearthed in Somalia in 2020.
  • It is the ninth largest celestial rock found on Earth at over 2 metres wide.
  • The meteorite came from an asteroid in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter.
  • The 2-metre-wide meteorite has been well known to generations of people who live in the area, where it was named Nightfall.
  • The minerals have been named “elaliite,” after the town where the meteorite crashed, and “elkinstantonite,” after planetary scientist Lindy Elkins-Tanton.
  • Around 4,000 minerals are known to science, and they comprise all the rocks already on Earth.
  • Of those minerals, only about 300 were discovered in meteorites, alien rocks that crashed on Earth.