Block Island meteorite was found on Mars by the Opportunity rover on July 17, 2009. It is about 67 centimetres (26 in) across.[1]

Block Island meteorite
376060main PIA12161 full straightened and sharpened.jpg
Parent bodyUnknown
CompositionNickel, iron, Kamacite, taenite[1][2]
Weathering gradeLarge-scale, cavernous weathering[2]
RegionMeridiani Planum
Coordinates02°07′00.85″S 05°31′02.85″W / 2.1169028°S 5.5174583°W / -2.1169028; -5.5174583Coordinates: 02°07′00.85″S 05°31′02.85″W / 2.1169028°S 5.5174583°W / -2.1169028; -5.5174583[3]
Observed fallNo
Fall datePossibly late Noachian
Found dateJuly 17, 2009[4]
TKW>0.5 short tons (0.45 t)[5]
Strewn fieldPossibly[6]
Block Island.jpg
Block Island in close up.
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Block Island was the first of three iron meteorites encountered by the rover on Meridiani Planum within a few hundred meters, the others being Shelter Island (the second meteorite found), and Mackinac Island (the third one found).[2]

No strong evidence exists concerning when Block Island may have fallen on Mars, though atmospheric conditions would have favored its arrival in the late Noachian period. Block Island may be extensively weathered,[2][6] or conversely the features covering it may simply be the regmaglypts formed by its passage through the atmosphere. Contrary to some claims, Block Island is not too large for the modern martian atmosphere to produce, though the denser the atmosphere the more effectively it would produce Block Island mass meteorites.[7]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Nemiroff, R.; Bonnell, J., eds. (13 August 2009). "Block Island Meteorite on Mars". Astronomy Picture of the Day. NASA. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d Ashley, J. W.; et al. (July 2011). "Evidence for mechanical and chemical alteration of iron-nickel meteorites on Mars: Process insights for Meridiani Planum". Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. 116 (E7): E00F20. Bibcode:2011JGRE..116.0F20A. doi:10.1029/2010JE003672. hdl:1893/17110.
  3. ^ Google Mars
  4. ^ Atkinson, Nancy (August 2009). "Opportunity Spies Unusual Rock — Large Meteorite?". Universe Today. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  5. ^ Staff (September 14, 2010). "Mars' Odd 'Block Island' Meteorite - A Clue to an Ancient Atmosphere". Daily Galaxy. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Beech, Martin; Ian M. Coulson (2010). "The making of Martian meteorite Block Island" (PDF). Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 404 (3): 1457. Bibcode:2010MNRAS.404.1457B. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16350.x. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 20, 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2013.
  7. ^ Chappelow, J. E.; Golombek M.P. (July 2011). "Event and conditions that produced the iron meteorite Block Island on Mars". Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets. 115 (E12). Bibcode:2010JGRE..115.0F07C. doi:10.1029/2010JE003666.
Notable rocks on Mars
Barnacle Bill
Bathurst Inlet
Big Joe
Block Island
(Opportunity) M
El Capitan
Heat Shield
(Opportunity) M
Home Plate
Jake Matijevic
Last Chance
Mackinac Island
(Opportunity) M
Oileán Ruaidh
(Opportunity) M
Pot of Gold
Rocknest 3
Shelter Island
(Opportunity) M
  M = Meteorite - ()