Mineral Discovery

A new mineral, dubbed "Wassonite" to honor UCLA's main meteorite researcher John T. Wasson, was officially announced by NASA on April 5, 2011. It was found via electron microscope in an Antarctic meteorite that's been sitting around since the Japanese Antarctic Expedition Team (JARE) first brought it home in 1969! This discovery is generally no big thing, seeing as around 50 new minerals are approved by the International Mineralogical Association (IMA) each year... but this one is special. It's made up of two elements arranged in a crystal structure never before observed in nature - titanium (II) sulfide, or TiS, was previously known only as a synthetic compound.

The tiny, tiny specks of Wassonite were surrounded by more mystery minerals, which researchers are currently looking into.

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