"This is very exciting. Black Beauty is very rare and special because it contains small pieces of the original crust of Mars," Martin Bizzarro, the head of the Center for Star and Planet Formation at NHM, told Danish scientific portal Videnskab.dk.
According to Bizzarro, the largest portion of Black Beauty, weighing 44 grams, may shed a new light on how Mars was formed and developed. The Danish researchers hope to be able to finish studying the meteorite by 2019, when it will be made available for exhibition at the NHM.
Buying a piece of Mars isn't cheap. According to Bizzarro, a gram of Black Beauty costs about $10,000, which effectively boosted the price of the Danish procurement to close to half a million dollars. However, the Center for Star and Planet Formation managed to reduce the price by offering an array of meteorites from NHM's own collection in return. In late 2016, Denmark also pledged to invest 350 million DKK ($50mln) in space activities over the next three years in order to help discover new solutions for a better global future.
Today, meteorite-hunting pays well. In recent decades, a whole industry has been built to specialize in hunting meteorites, especially in Africa.
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