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back to article Mars attacks! Morocco pelted with rocks from the Red Planet

Excited boffins have confirmed that a meteorite shower over Morocco last July dumped about 7kg of Martian rocks on our planet. The find is only the fifth time that scientists have been able to tell that a witnessed meteor shower contained samples from the Red Planet. It's quite handy for Martian meteors to land on Earth since …

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Anonymous Coward

Take your rubbish back, you polluting sod!

reads the tiny label they will find upon examining this "martian rock".

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Anonymous Coward

"Astronomers believe that something big smashed into Mars millions of years ago"

Or... something. big. escaped... DUN DUN DUN!

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jai
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sounds familiar.....

"No one would have believed that in the first years of the 21st century that human affairs where being watched from the timeless worlds of space. No one could have dreamed we were being scrutinized as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. Few man even considered the possibility of life on other planets and yet, across the gulf of space, minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes, and slowly, and surely they drew there plans against us.

"At midnight on the 17th of July a huge mass of luminous gas erupted from Mars and sped towards Earth...."

Am so looking forward to seeing a tripod war machine, if only for a few split seconds before the heat ray vaporises me....

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Alien

Aye, but it was only 7Kg worth which suggests that they got the scale a bit off. Though I quite like the idea of Martian tripods doing battle with cockroaches and mice before humans discover them and mistake the heat ray for a new type of lighter.

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@kraz

ITYM it was unexpectedly swallowed by a small dog...

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Anonymous Coward

Wait a minute...

A huge mass of luminous gas, bright green, drawing a green mist behind it- being pelted at us from Mars? That sounds familliar somehow...

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Coat

Starship Troopers?

Isn't that how it all started in the aforementioned film?

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Mushroom

Expensive hardware lob tie-break resolved?

Okay, so it's not hardware (we think), but it /is/ expensive and it /is/ an interplanetary lob.

The current Earth-Mars scorecard (http://www.bio.aps.anl.gov/~dgore/fun/PSL/marsscorecard.html) doesn't have the Phobos-Grunt failure (maybe it was declared a no-ball?) but this might take Mars into the lead 21:20 !

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FAIL

From Mars?

...Who saw it set off then?

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Anonymous Coward

Those two mice!

I knew it!

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Alien

Damn

I know, scientifically invaluable, etc. but why couldn't something like that land in MY backyard? I could really use the money!

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Ah, crap...!

...It's just those damn' Martian kids from next door, throwing rocks at our house again!!

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Anonymous Coward

So, for this to happen...

There would have to have been something with enough force to blast at least 7Kg of Martian rock, not only into Mars orbit but with enough velocity to escape Mars orbit.

Really? What could cause such an event?

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Alien

What could cause such an event?

Mars getting hit by a fscking great asteroid a few km across?

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Anonymous Coward

An asteroid

Is the obvious reply, but the energy required to make that chunk of rock just keep on going, beyond Mars's gravitational pull. To amass that much energy in one hit, surely it should have been vaporized?

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Boffin

Depends on the collision

To vaporize chunks of rock you must transfer energy into them. If that energy arrives in the form of an object, say a spherical cow of uniform density, with a certain amount of kinetic energy, that energy must be used to deform the rock, heating it up. But a rock undergoing deformation will tend to break up, and some of the resulting bits will convert the energy presented to them by the (semi-elastic) impact not into heat but into kinetic energy, in other words, they'll be propelled away. Think of hitting a huge boulder with a wrecking ball, or a cannonball. You'll get, among other effects, chips of rock flying off, some with surprising velocities.

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maybe...

the Mars Rover is bored and trying to get attention

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Aiee!

Fools!

Has no-one but me read "The Colour Out Of Space?"

If the rich back catalogue of 50's SF on both the large and small screens has told us anything, it is that nothing good comes from a meteorite.

When will people learn? When these so-called "scientists" stagger out of the badlands looking like rotting cacti or gorillas wearing diving helmets?

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Facepalm

Re: Aiee!

"Yeah, bloody scientists, if we left it up to them we'd still be living in the stone age being eaten by dinosaurs"

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/post/729773

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@ravenviz

I get your point, but we missed being eaten by dinosaurs by about 65 million years. Have you been watching the Flintstones again?...

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And the nomads got?

How much were the nomads who found the rocks paid?

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Coat

Meh they're just Nomads

Bit of a turn-up having the natives trading beads for something useful.

But it's not as if they're going to rush down to Phones4U and snaffle an iPad is it? besides they've been trading in meteorites for millennia, I'm sure they know what they are doing.

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Anonymous Coward

whut

nothing from amanfrommars yet? really.. with this opportunity..

also, i haven't seen any decent rocks from that part of the world since the nineties.. these days it's all green..

>coat icon but posting anon: mines the coat with the ripped veras in the pocket..

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Joke

What I want to know is

How come amanfrommars hasn't commented on this yet??? I find this very curious!!!

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Windows

Simple!

amanfrommars lobbed the fuc*kers!

But, if Phobos-Grun*t missed land, how the hell did these pebbles get here?

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@Zippy

amanfromMars is desperately looking for funds to acquire some of the rocks. You know, homelikely decorating the living room and such...

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Trollface

Not that long ago

Some tribe would have revered these rocks as a gift from the gods.

Good thing the human race has moved on since then....oh!

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Mars rocks, or rocks also found on Mars?

I always wonder with stories like these. After all; we cannot be sure how it got here, nor can we be fully sure that it really originated from Mars.

After all, the boffins basically tested the material and compared those findings with the results of the research data which was acquired on Mars by the space rovers.

So then I wonder if its also possible that these rocks didn't come from Mars but another source. While the same kind of material can also be found on Mars, thus explaining the equality.

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Mars is the only candidate for the various shergottites, nakhlites and chassignites that have been found.

Unlike almost all other meteorites (with the exception of the lunar meteorites) they don't date to 4.6Gya, they have been radio dated to between 1.3Gya and 0.18Gya implying they came from a planet that was geologically active until relatively recently.

Their mineralogy which is generally magic to ultramafic - similar to that of the Earth's Mantle, again suggesting their origin was a planet that has differentiated.

Gas trapped in glass inclusions in the shergottites have the exact isotopic ratios as that returned from Martian probes.

Finally, some of the meteorites contain minerals that are only formed by weather in wet conditions.

In short, Mars is the only candidate.

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I wonder how much Earth rocks are worth on Mars.

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Anonymous Coward

With commission

15 of your terran groats

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FTFY

In short, Mars is the only known candidate.

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Anonymous Coward

"more than ten times as much as gold".

I just cant wait until the Cash for Mars rocks ad appears on the telly or "have you been injured by at work or by a Mars rock". ITV will make a killing.

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