Allan Hills 84001 exhibits a black fusion crust covering the gray, orthopyroxene-rich interior. This 174-gram meteorite is 4.5 billion years old and was collected in Antarctica in 1984. It provides a sample of the earliest crustal rocks on Mars. Tiny carbonate globules formed from fluids about 4 billion years ago. In 1996, NASA scientists suggested that these carbonates may contain fossilized evidence of microbes. Although widely debated since, this study has sparked renewed interest in the origin of life and exploration of Mars.


  • Title: Meteorite Allan Hills ALH 84001,38
  • Location: Antarctica
  • Type: Meteorite
  • Rights: This image was obtained from the Smithsonian Institution. The image or its contents may be protected by international copyright laws. http://www.si.edu/termsofuse
  • External Link: View this object record in the Smithsonian Institution Collections Search Center
  • Weight: 176.3 g
  • USNM Catalog Number(s): 6531
  • Scientific Name: Snc-orthopyroxenite (achondrite)
  • Photo Credit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
  • Field: Mineral Sciences

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