Scientists Discover New Space Mineral

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December 15th, 2010

Scientists have uncovered completely new minerals in meteorites uncovered from the Antarctic.

While the meteorites were originally found in 1969, it has taken more than four decades to find the new metals, according to News.com.au

Dubbed 'Wassonite after John T. Wasson, a pioneer in meteorite and impact reseach; the mineral has been called one of a kind.

"Wassonite is a mineral formed from only two elements, sulphur and titanium, yet it possesses a unique crystal structure that has not been previously seen in nature," NASA scientist and head of the research team Keiko Nakamurra-Messenger said.

The material is the first observation in nature of the previously manufactured compound Titanium(II) sulfide.

However, the sample found is less than one-hundredth the width of human hair.

Several other unidentified minerals were also reportedly found surrounding Wassonite and are undergoing analysis.

Wassonite has been recognised by the International Mineralogical Association.

The meteorite is believed to have broken off an asteroid orbiting in the main asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter.