Nakhla meteorite


The Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum

Working with the Nakhla meteorite, which fell in Egypt in 1911, Museum scientist Dr Robert (Bob) Hutchison discovered it was younger than most of the other meteorites in the collection. This finding in 1975 led to the idea that some meteorites, including Nakhla, came from Mars.

Dr Hutchinson also identified water in the meteorite, making him and his collaborators the first to identify water in a Martian meteorite, although the discovery was largely overlooked at the time.

This work was done with increasingly sophisticated equipment at the Museum, from simple optical microscopes to a scanning electron microscope and an electron microprobe.

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  • Title: Nakhla meteorite
  • Date: 1911-06-28
  • Location: Abu Hummus, Egypt
  • Subject Keywords: Origins of the Solar System
  • Age: 1.3 billion years