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, 221 (4611), 651-4

Martian Gases in an Antarctic Meteorite?

Martian Gases in an Antarctic Meteorite?

D D Bogard et al. Science.


Significant abundances of trapped argon, krypton, and xenon have been measured in shock-altered phases of the achondritic meteorite Elephant Moraine 79001 from Antarctica. The relative elemental abundances, the high ratios of argon-40 to argon-36 (>/= 2000), and the high ratios of xenon-129 to xenon-132 (>/= 2.0) of the trapped gas more closely resemble Viking data for the martian atmosphere than data for noble gas components typically found in meteorites. These findings support earlier suggestions, made on the basis of geochemical evidence, that shergottites and related rare meteorites may have originated from the planet Mars.

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