We call Mars the “red planet” because from our perspective it’s pretty undeniably red. It probably isn’t red under the dust, though. A meteorite known colloquially as Black Beauty (official name NWA 7034) is now believed to come from Mars, and as the nickname suggests, it’s black. Spectrographic studies of this object and Mars itself might mean there’s a lot of that Black Beauty rock lurking under the red fines.
Weighing in at 320 grams, NWA 7034 was originally discovered in the Moroccan desert several years ago. Initial examinations of the object hinted at a Martian origin, and now we know that Black Beauty is indeed a 4.4 billion-year-old piece of Mars. That’s amazing in the first place — a piece of Mars ...
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