MARS ROCK Display, Retro Invasion from Mars, Basaltic Shergottite


This meteorite display features a sample of a meteorite from the planet Mars! - a small sample of shergottite that was recovered from the remote Saharan desert.

This Martian-origin meteorite was blasted off the surface of Mars millions of years ago. The source Martian bedrock was a deep basaltic magmatic rock. The impact ejection mechanism was so violent, that the resulting meteorites are highly shocked and contain pockets of melt glass and blackened glass veins.

Refer to the photo. The black centimeter cube is shown for scale and is not included. Your specimen will be a small fragment of this meteorite similar to the one shown in the photo. Each specimen is unique and will vary slightly in appearance. The display box measures approx. 3 inches by 4 inches (75mm by 100mm).

The meteorite specimen is encased in a clear acrylic gemjar which is placed inside a handsome display box that has a black pebblegrain finish and a glass viewing window. The Mars Rock can be removed from the case. The display has color artwork with a vintage Sci-Fi theme, and would make the ideal gift for the science or astronomy geek. This would also make a fine outreach or educational prop and it would look great on display in the office or observatory.

From the Meteoritical Bulletin entry on NWA 7397 -

Northwest Africa 7397 (NWA 7397)

Northwest Africa

Purchased: 2012 Jun

Classification: Martian meteorite (Shergottite)

History: Found near Smara, Morocco and purchased by Darryl Pitt and David Gheesling from a dealer in Zagora, Morocco in 2012 June.

Physical characteristics: A 2130 g, partially covered in fusion crust. Interior larger ovoid crystals in a finer grained matrix.

Petrography: (A. Irving and S. Kuehner, UWS) Large oikocrysts (up to 1.5 cm across) of low-Ca pyroxene enclose multiple chadacrysts of olivine and Cr-rich chromite. Relatively equigranular domains between oikocrysts are composed of low-Ca and high-Ca pyroxene (showing very limited compositional zoning), maskleynite and olivine with accessory merrillite, Ti-chromite, pyrrhotite and ilmenite (with associated grains of baddeleyite up to 10 μm across). Olivine contains sparse melt inclusions composed of K-Na-Al-Si-rich glass surrounded by characteristic post-shock radial expansion microfractures.

Classification: Martian (shergottite, poikilitic).