Careful! You could trip over a piece of Mars today

Really. Just a few deliberate searches have found 40 pieces of the Red Planet so far. But scientists are convinced that thousands are scattered across the world and that more fall to Earth each month.

We've brought moon rocks to Earth, but so far we haven't been able to bring any material back from Mars. But, never mind, nature has found a way to provide it!

Scientists know that over eons space-rocks ranging from the size of a car to that of a city have plowed through Mar's relatively thin atmosphere blasting chunks of the planet into space. After a journey of millions of miles, and millions of years, some of these outcasts are captured by Earth's gravity and fall to the surface.

A leading expert, James Head, says that impacts big enough to kick material free of Mar's gravity occur about once every 2 million years. "According to the celestial mechanics people, about 7.5 percent of this material is destined to land on the Earth," Head said. "More than half of that lands in the first 10 million years after the impact. On average fragments from several impacts are in transit all the time. This works out to about one Martian meteorite landing on Earth each month."

The rocks can land anywhere on Earth. Most, no doubt are lost to the oceans' depths. Those that are found are usually discovered in deserts or Antarctica -- places without plant cover and where a rock can lie undisturbed for many years.

If you're lucky and happen to find one, be very careful with it. A Mars rock brings over $1,000,000 per pound at auction.


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