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Mineral Biomarkers in Martian Meteorite Allan Hills 84001?The occurrence of fine-grained magnetite in the Fe-rich rims surrounding carbonate globules in the martian meteorite ALH84001, originally described in , have been proposed as fossil remains of primitive martian organisms. Here we report observations on size and shape distributions of magnetites from ALH84001 and compare them to biogenic and inorganic magnetite crystals of terrestrial origin. While some magnetite morphology is not unequivocally diagnostic for its biogenicity, such as cubodial forms of magnetite, which are common in inorganically formed magnetites, other morphologies of magnetite (parallel-epiped or elongated prismatic and arrowhead forms) are more likely signatures of biogenic activity. Some ALH 84001 magnetite particles described below have unique morphology and length-to-width ratios that are indistinguishable from a variety of terrestrial biogenic magnetite and distinct from all known inorganic forms of magnetite.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Thomas-Keprta, K. L.
(Lockheed Martin Corp. Houston, TX United States)
Bazylinski, D. A.
(Iowa State Univ. of Science and Technology Ames, IA United States)
Wentworth, S. J.
(Lockheed Martin Corp. Houston, TX United States)
McKay, D. S.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Golden, D. C.
(Lockheed Martin Corp. Houston, TX United States)
Gibson, E. K., Jr.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Romanek, C. S.
(Savannah River Ecology Lab. Aiken, SC United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1998
Publication Information
Publication: Workshop on the Issue Martian Meteorites: Where do we Stand and Where are we Going?
Subject Category
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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