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Green Meteorite Found In Morocco May Be From Mercury 89

An anonymous reader writes in with news that a meteorite found in Morocco might be from Mercury. "The green rock found in Morocco last year may be the first known visitor from the solar system's innermost planet, according to meteorite scientist Anthony Irving, who unveiled the new findings this month at the 44th annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in The Woodlands, Texas. The study suggests that a space rock called NWA 7325 came from Mercury, and not an asteroid or Mars."
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Green Meteorite Found In Morocco May Be From Mercury

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  • Dumb Question: (Score:4, Interesting)

    by theVarangian ( 1948970 ) on Sunday March 31, 2013 @07:40PM (#43327295)
    Lets break up the inevitable flood of cheesy Kryptonite jokes... I am no expert in astrogeology but I can still see how it is possible to tell that a rock dropped to Earth from space, it will have signs of being heated during entry into the Earth's atmosphere etc... I can also see how there might be a difference between planetary rocks formed during geological processes under the influence of gravity and objects that formed in space. But how is it possible to prove beyond a doubt that a rock came from a particular planet/moon in the solar system?
  • by Medievalist ( 16032 ) on Monday April 01, 2013 @11:05AM (#43330867)

    But how is it possible to prove beyond a doubt that a rock came from a particular planet/moon in the solar system?

    Well, there's only one way, really. You go to that planet or moon, pick up a rock, and bring it home. We can prove beyond a doubt that the moon rocks the astronauts brought home did, in fact, come from Earth's moon. At least, that's where they most recently came from before coming to Earth.

    However, in "Science Journalism" which is something loosely inspired by sloppy research and egregious overstatements made by scientists while pumping for grants and attention, if a rock has characteristics that resemble the characteristics of rocks found on some other planet or moon, we confidently state that it came from there. It's called "leaping to conclusions", and misrepresenting hypotheses in this way is a big industry that forms the basis of Science Journalism.

    Take the Big Bang theory for an example. We have a working theory, based on a real observation (that all matter we can detect appears to be expanding outwards from a point) and nobody has come up with a better explanation (yet) so in the world of Science Journalism it's an incontrovertible fact that all matter was once contained in a single point. See how that works? You just jump straight from "this is an idea that represents a possibility, which we can work with" to "this is absolute truth that only heretics and savages don't worship".

    It's this kind of abandonment of logic and reason, and the substitution of pseudo-scientific dogma for true skepticism or conditional belief, that allows stuff like global warming denialism to prosper. You deflect the conversation from what's reasonable and logically provable to a discussion of the relative stature of the priests, er, I meant scientists, and their religious, er, I meant political affiliations. Evidence be damned, I have magazines.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!