Mars Rock with Display, NWA 6963 Martian Shergottite, .511g


This meteorite display features a sample of a meteorite from the planet Mars! - a sample of shergottite that was recovered from the remote Saharan desert after it fell to Earth.

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.  The display box measures approx. 3 inches by 4 inches (75mm by 100mm). The meteorite fragment is uncut, and weighs .511g (511mg), or just over half a gram.

The meteorite specimen 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 a color photo of the planet Mars in it, 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 6963 -


Northwest Africa 6963 (NWA 6963)
28°00.148'N   11°07.895'W
South, Morocco
Found: 2011
Classification: Martian meteorite (Shergottite)


History: (H. Chennaoui Aoudjehane, FSAC) In September, 2011, a Moroccan meteorite hunter found the first pieces of NWA 6963 and sold it to AHabibi without giving the exact provenance. The hunter continued collecting pieces in the same area for about 6 months. In mid-May, 2012, the NWA 6963 locality, near the river Oued Touflit, became widely known and hundreds of meteorite hunters went to the area searching for more pieces. Pieces ranging from 100 to 700 g have been recovered, as well as a few small pieces (3-10 g), most of them are broken and partially covered by a thin fusion crust. The total mass may be as much as 8-10 kg. 


Physical characteristics: The original recovered material was a shiny, dark, 83 g fusion-crusted stone in three pieces. Minimal weathering. Interior shows abundant maskelynite and shock melt vein.

Classification: Achondrite (Martian, shergottite); minimal weathering, high shock grade based on complete transformation of plagioclase to maskelynite. Pyroxene compositional trends are similar, but not identical to Shergotty.