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Meridiani Planum 003
Basic information Name: Meridiani Planum 003
     This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: MP 003
Observed fall: No
Year found: 2006
Planet: Mars
Mass:help 2.5 kg
Recommended:  Stony iron    [explanation]

This is 1 of 4 approved meteorites classified as Stony iron.   [show all]
Search for other: Metal-rich meteorites, Unclassified meteorites
Comments: Approved 17 May 2020
Writeup from MB 109:

Meridiani Planum 003        2.049°S, 5.504°W


Find: 21 Dec 2006

Classification: Stony-iron

History: A field of cobbles was discovered by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on the Cabo Anonimo promontory at the rim of Victoria Crater. A cobble informally named Santa Catarina (henceforth Meridiani Planum 003) was selected for detailed investigation between sols 1034 and 1055.

Physical characteristics: Meridiani Planum 003 is a brecciated rock with several subangular clasts clearly visible in images obtained with the rover’s Microscopic Imager. Semi-circular cavities and subplanar protrusions with highly irregular edges result in an angular appearance. The rock is ~14 cm in its longest dimension and ~11 cm across.

Geochemistry: The clasts in the rock are spectrally distinct from the rock matrix, with the clasts having a distinct pyroxene absorption in Pancam (Weitz et al., 2010). The iron-bearing mineralogy determined with the rover’s Mössbauer spectrometer is dominated by ferrous iron in olivine and pyroxene, with smaller amounts in troilite; minor amounts of ferric iron is likely a result of alteration on Mars (Fleischer et al., 2010b; Schröder et al., 2010). The chemical composition determined with the rover’s Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) is rich in Ni, Mg, and Cr and poor in Al, K, and Ti, compared with other material on the plains of Meridiani Planum and excavated by craters in the area.

Classification: Meridiani Planum 003 has Mg/Si, Ca/Si and Al/Si ratios similar to HED meteorites, but enriched in S/Si, Fe/Si and Ni and depleted in O. Meridiani Planum 003 may thus belong to the HED or mesosiderite group, having HED-like silicate composition with additional metal and sulfide. Several other rocks in the cobble field associated with Meridiani Planum 003 have similar characteristics as shown with Pancam (the rocks informally named Ibirama, Florianopolis, and Lajes; (Schröder et al., 2008) and MiniTES spectra (the rocks informally named Jaocaba, Mafra, and Paloma; (Ashley et al., 2009). The cobble field may represent an accumulation of paired meteorite fragments or a strewn field suggested to be part of the impactor that created Victoria Crater (Schröder et al., 2010; Squyres et al., 2009).

Data from:
  Table 0
  Line 0:
Origin or pseudonym:Meridiani Planum
Date:21 Dec 2006
Mass (g):2500-3100
Classifier:B. Cohen, GSFC
Type spec mass (g):0
Type spec location:Mars
Main mass:Mars
Finder:Opportunity rover
Comments:Submitted by B. Cohen, GSFC
References: Published in Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 109, in preparation (2020)
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Public domain photographs:
Barbara Cohen   

Coordinates on Mars:
     Recommended::   (2° 2' 56"S, 5° 30' 14"W)

     This is 1 of 15 approved meteorites from Mars
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