A group of Canadian researchers say they have discovered two new minerals (and possibly a third) after analyzing a fragment of a 15-ton meteorite that fell in eastern Africa.
A meteorite, the ninth largest on record, over 2 meters wide, was found in Somalia in 2020. Although the local camel herders say it has been well known to them for generations and is called Nightfall in their songs and poems.
Meanwhile, scientists have named the alien rock “El-Ali” because it was found near the city of El-Ali, in the Hiran region. The 70-gram iron-based meteorite fragment was sent to the University of Alberta Meteorite Collection for classification.
Similar minerals were synthetically created in the laboratory in the 1980s, but have never been reported as occurring in nature. Discovered new minerals can help understand how “nature’s laboratory” works and may have as-yet-unknown uses in the real world. A third potentially new mineral is currently being analyzed.