April 18, 2000
There are apparently two new Mars meteorites found in the Sahara Desert. Both of the new Mars meteorites are shergottites, and they both appear to be paired with the other two other Mars meteorites previously found in the Sahara Desert (Dar al Gani 476 & 489).
Dar al Gani 735 - 588 grams.
From Frank Wlotzka, Max Planck Institute
Dear Ron, yes, there is a new shergottite from Dar al Gani, probably paired with the other two. Here is the text I have sent to Jeff Grossman and which he accepted for the Meteoritical Bulletin, on April 6. Proposed name: Dar al Gani 735 Found: Winter 1996/97, Country: Libya Coordinates: 27=B010'N, 16=B010'E, approx. Total mass: 588 g, one piece Classification: Martian basalt (shergottite) Classification by: Frank Wlotzka, MPI Chemie Mainz, and Matthias Kurz, Schillerstrasse 7, D-34626 Neukirchen, Germany. Type specimen: 6 g MPI Mainz A complete stone with desert varnish was found in Dar al Gani. Classification information: Porphyritic basalt with mm-sized olivines (normally zoned from Fa 28 to fa 37) in a finer grained matrix of pigeonites (Fs 25-28) and feldspar glass (An 65). A direct comparison with a thin section of DaG 476 shows that both stones are very similar and most probably paired. An exception is that this stone does not contain terrestrial carbonate veins, it appears less weathered than DaG 476.
Dar al Gani 670 - 1619 grams.
According the meteorite dealer Michael Casper, this meteorite looks exactly like DAG 476 and DAG 489, and should be considered paired with them. Casper says the rock has been identified by the University of Siena in Italy as being a Mars meteorite. The meteorite was found about 30 km from where other two DAG meteorites were found.
If these two new Mars rocks are indeed paired with DAG 476 & 489, then the number of Mars meteorites does not go up and remains at 14.
Update: May 3, 2000
According to Jeff Grossman, DAG 670 has been classified as a Mars meteorite by Luigi Folco.
Return to the Mars Meteorite Home Page