ROM Acquires Three Rare Martian Meteorites Enhancing its World Class Collection


ROM Acquires Three Rare Martian Meteorites

Enhancing its World Class Collection

Meteorites will be used to further ROM research on the geological history of Mars


TORONTO, November 10, 2015 – The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has acquired three Martian meteorites, known as NWA 6342, NWA 7721, and a yet unnamed sample. These acquisitions make the ROM one of the most important international collectors of Martian rocks with samples from 22 meteorites now in its collection (12 are considered ‘main masses’, meaning that they are the largest known piece of a particular meteorite). 

Meteorites are rocks that have been ejected into the Earth’s orbit following collisions on their parent bodies. Most meteorites come from asteroids, however, there are approximately 100 that are known to have come from Mars. Meteorites are of great scientific importance as they reveal rare information about the origin of the Solar System and the formation of planets.

“This acquisition significantly expands our research capabilities and gives us a greater understanding of Mars’ evolution. Using detailed imaging and chemical analyses, ROM researchers can now look at how each rock formed, how they left Mars, and how long they took to reach Earth,” said Dr. Kim Tait, Teck Endowed Chair of Mineralogy at the ROM.

The ROM’s collection of minerals, gems, meteorites and rocks is on display in the Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth’s Treasures. Visitors can share their own samples of meteorites, rocks, minerals, gems, and fossils, at the ROM’s Identification Clinic on December 9, 2015 at 4:00 pm

The acquisition of NWA 6342 and NWA 7721 was made possible through the generous support of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust. The acquisition of the unnamed meteorite was made by ROM Research Associate, Dr. David Gregory.


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Wendy Vincent, Publicist