Take your rubbish back, you polluting sod!
reads the tiny label they will find upon examining this "martian rock".
Excited boffins have confirmed that a meteorite shower over Morocco last July dumped about 7kg of Martian rocks on our planet. The find is only the fifth time that scientists have been able to tell that a witnessed meteor shower contained samples from the Red Planet. It's quite handy for Martian meteors to land on Earth since …
"No one would have believed that in the first years of the 21st century that human affairs where being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinized as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few man even considered the possibility of life on other planets and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly, and surely they drew there plans against us.
"At midnight on the 17th of July a huge mass of luminous gas erupted from Mars and sped towards Earth...."
Am so looking forward to seeing a tripod war machine, if only for a few split seconds before the heat ray vaporises me....
Okay, so it's not hardware (we think), but it /is/ expensive and it /is/ an interplanetary lob.
The current Earth-Mars scorecard (http://www.bio.aps.anl.gov/~dgore/fun/PSL/marsscorecard.html) doesn't have the Phobos-Grunt failure (maybe it was declared a no-ball?) but this might take Mars into the lead 21:20 !
To vaporize chunks of rock you must transfer energy into them. If that energy arrives in the form of an object, say a spherical cow of uniform density, with a certain amount of kinetic energy, that energy must be used to deform the rock, heating it up. But a rock undergoing deformation will tend to break up, and some of the resulting bits will convert the energy presented to them by the (semi-elastic) impact not into heat but into kinetic energy, in other words, they'll be propelled away. Think of hitting a huge boulder with a wrecking ball, or a cannonball. You'll get, among other effects, chips of rock flying off, some with surprising velocities.
Has no-one but me read "The Colour Out Of Space?"
If the rich back catalogue of 50's SF on both the large and small screens has told us anything, it is that nothing good comes from a meteorite.
When will people learn? When these so-called "scientists" stagger out of the badlands looking like rotting cacti or gorillas wearing diving helmets?
I always wonder with stories like these. After all; we cannot be sure how it got here, nor can we be fully sure that it really originated from Mars.
After all, the boffins basically tested the material and compared those findings with the results of the research data which was acquired on Mars by the space rovers.
So then I wonder if its also possible that these rocks didn't come from Mars but another source. While the same kind of material can also be found on Mars, thus explaining the equality.
Mars is the only candidate for the various shergottites, nakhlites and chassignites that have been found.
Unlike almost all other meteorites (with the exception of the lunar meteorites) they don't date to 4.6Gya, they have been radio dated to between 1.3Gya and 0.18Gya implying they came from a planet that was geologically active until relatively recently.
Their mineralogy which is generally magic to ultramafic - similar to that of the Earth's Mantle, again suggesting their origin was a planet that has differentiated.
Gas trapped in glass inclusions in the shergottites have the exact isotopic ratios as that returned from Martian probes.
Finally, some of the meteorites contain minerals that are only formed by weather in wet conditions.
In short, Mars is the only candidate.
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