Los Angeles - Basaltic Shergottite
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.

Fact sheet

Los Angeles - Basaltic Shergottite

This basaltic shergottite was discovered in the Mojave Desert by Bob Vernish and stored for several years. Two stones, weighing 452.6 and 245.4 g, respectively, were refound by Bob in his backyard while he was cleaning out a box of rocks that was part of his rock collection.

The basaltic shergottite shows a very high degree of shock generated melt. In thin section the rock consist of plagioclase laths that have been shocked to maskelynite and therefore appear isotropic between crossed polars; pyroxene, small amounts of olivine, titanomagnetite and significant quantities of black glassy melt.

Note the special mounting technique used for this section, the meteorite is surrounded by mounting glue and embedded sand grains. Thus all the quartz that appears in the periphery of the view is actually from Earth.

35.008, -115.47
Mojave Desert, California USA
About this collection

This collection of meteorites includes Shergottites, Nakhlites and Chassignites (or SNC meteorites) which originate from the surface of the planet Mars.

They carry unique signals of the surface of the planet that allows scientists to study the composition and age of Martian rocks. The collection includes a sample of the famous ALH84001 meteorite, evidence from which was used in 1996 to begin the debate of 'life on Mars?'. 


Sample details

Collection: Martian Meteorites
basaltic shergottite
Rock-forming mineral
Accessory minerals
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample:
Southern Illinois