Martian meteorites old and new
Tuesday afternoon saw the Mars community come together for some reminiscing and new findings! The keynote talk by Allan Treiman was a fantastic “greyhead review” of past and more recent advancements in Martian geochemistry research, especially for those needing a refresher in Martian meteorite history and mission chronology!
For instance I was surprised to learn that ALHA 84001 was originally classified as a diogenite (part of the HED family of meteorites) and that the origins of meteorites that we now comfortably call Martian were still under contention in the early 1980s. Black Beauty (NWA 7034) was mentioned of course, but somewhat overshadowed by the potential of new meteorite NWA 8159 which compositionally may be the missing link between the SC and N meteorites and may argue for a heterogeneous Martian mantle.
Following this talk were new insights into the temperature of the Martian interior over time (Justin Filiberto), which was likely 100-200 degrees C cooler than Earth’s mantle during Noachian (relative to data on komatiites from Earth). Additionally, the anomalously high mantle temperatures inferred from the Shergottites may suggest the interplay of hot spot activity during their formation.
If the first few talks weren’t enough to wet your apatite (force if habit!) then Aria Udry introduced the idea of vitrophyre clasts in Black Beauty being the best match, in the current meteorite collection, to Gusev-crater-like basalts!