Tissint – Martian Meteorite : 2012

Photograph by

Farah Ahmed

About this image

3D reconstruction of a fragment of the Tissint Martian meteorite, imaged using X-rays in a micro-CT scanner. The CT technology uses fine beams of X-rays to take a virtual ‘slice’ of the sample – many such slices are then stacked together to make a 3D model. CT technology allows very fine density differences to be visualised through the bulk structure of the rock. Here orange colours indicate the mineral olivine, green shows what were once fluid inclusions, blue is silicate glass and white shows fracture networks. Tissint is the name of a meteorite that fell to Earth in Morocco on 18 July 2011. Study of its structure and mineral content show that it was blasted from the surface of Mars in an impact about 700,000 years ago since which time it has wandered to solar system. The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom