What is the story behind the Martian meteorite ALH84001?

The Inner Solar System Read more from
Chapter The Solar System

Several kinds of scientific evidence are used to determine where meteorites come from. These include the crystallization age of the meteorite, its chemical and physical composition, the effects that cosmic rays have had on it, and the composition and concentrations of gases trapped long ago in tiny fissures and bubbles in the meteorite. From this evidence it was determined that ALH84001 originated on Mars. So when features were found in the meteorite that resembled fossilized microorganisms, it sparked a worldwide sensation that ancient life may have existed on Mars.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Astronomy Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App