As is the case with the Moon, specimens of the planet Mars are among the most exotic substances on Earth with less than 250 kg (550 lbs) known to exist. The delivery mechanism to Earth was an asteroid impact on Mars that ejected material of the Martian surface into an Earth-crossing orbit. The determination of Martian origin is the result of research conducted by hundreds of scientists throughout the world. In addition to many arcane chemical and isotopic markers, most Martian meteorites have an unusually young crystalline age. The link to Mars was speculative until an analysis was conducted on the glassy inclusions in other suspected Martian meteorites. Within the glass were tiny vugs, and within these vugs were tiny volumes of gas. The gas was analyzed and it matched perfectly with the signature of the Martian atmosphere as reported by NASA’s Viking Missions to Mars in 1976.

NWA 10693 contains olivine macrocrysts set in a relatively coarse grained groundmass primarily comprised of pyroxene, maskelynite with accessory chromite, ilmenite (with rare inclusions), merrillite and pyrrhotite.

The cut interior surface of this sample is a hued gray with a heterogeneous distribution of dark grains. The reverse is covered with approximately 70% fusion crust. Two sandy areas seen are the result of this meteorite’s residency in the Sahara Desert prior to its discovery. Modern cutting.

Christie's would like to thank Dr. Alan E. Rubin at the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles for his assistance in preparing this catalogue.

The analysis of this meteorite was led by Dr. Anthony Irving, whose findings underwent peer review by the Nomenclature Committee of the Meteoritical Society. The analysis and classification was published in the 105th edition of the Meteoritical Bulletin — the official registry of meteorites.

26 x 29 x 18mm (1 x 1 x 0.75 in.) and 17.12g
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