Christopher Adcock, Oliver Tschauner, Elisabeth Hausrath, Arya Udry, and Minghua Ren (all Geoscience) and a team of international researchers recently published a research paper titled, “Shock-transformation of Whitlockite to Merrillite and the Implications for Meteoritic Phosphate” in Nature Communications.
The research focuses on how shock can dehydrate minerals in meteorites, specifically, a phosphate mineral that commonly occurs in meteorites, including Martian meteorites. The amount of water in meteorites is often used to understand water contents in the early solar system and on planets such as Mars. This water content has important implications for the origins of our solar system and the possibility of life outside of Earth. All meteorites have experienced shock and the research team shows that shock may dehydrate phosphate minerals within meteorites. This means Mars and the early solar system may have had more water than previously thought.