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The ALH 84001 Meteorite


ALH 84001 meteorite
Photo courtesy of Johnson Space Center

Meteorite: ALH 84001
Location: Allan Hills, Far Western Icefield, Antartica
Found: December 27, 1984
Type: (SNC)

This is the meteorite causing all of the excitement about life possibly existing on Mars. This meteorite was the first meteorite found by the Antarctic team in 1984. The meteorite was initially identified as a diogenite, a rare type of achrondite meteorite. It wasn't until October 1993 that David Mittlefehldt caught the error, and properly identified as as an SNC.

Orange carbonate grains, 100 to 200 microns across, indicate that the meteorite was once immersed in water.

A cut section of ALH 84001. The area exposed measures 10 by 6 centimeters.
Photo courtesy of Johnson Space Center.

Cut section showing splothy appearance of the interior and the broken texture of the fracture zone.

Exterior of the meteorite showing dark brown fusion crust that is eroded in areas exposing the light brown interior.

Two pieces of ALH 84001.

Small fragment of ALH 84001.

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Please direct questions and comments about this home page to
Ron Baalke
Jet Propulsion Lab