Even if you were in Morocco last July, you could be excused for not noticing an extraordinary event - Martian rocks falling to earth. Yet, that did indeed happen and scientists have now confirmed that the extraterrestrial visitors did originate on Mars.
The chances of being hit by a meteorite are astronomically small, but even if you were hit by one of the recent chunks of Mars, the chances are you wouldn't know a thing about it. The size of the rock fragments were big enough to kill someone instantly. The largest of the 6.5 kilogrammes (15 pounds) of fragments weighed in at a kilo. At the very least you would have a nasty headache.
The scientists say this is only the fifth time experts have chemically confirmed fresh Martian rocks fell to Earth. The last time was in 1962. Scientists believe the most recent meteorite fell last July outside of the town of Foumzgit, saying there were sightings of an unidentified object falling from the sky at that time. A special committee of meteorite experts, which includes some NASA scientists, confirmed the test results today.
Astronomers think the fragments were discarded by the Red Planet millions of years ago, after a large object crashed into the planet and sent fragments hurtling through the solar system. Occasionally, they believe, some of those rocks fall to Earth.