a rare meteorite sample that could help unravel the mysteries of Mars has been acquired by the Natural History Museum in London. the space rock is about the size of a paperback book and is the largest known fragment of the Tissint meteorite, which fell as a shower of stones in the deserts of southern Morocco last July. eyewitnesses heard two sonic booms and saw a bright fireball trace through the night sky

"arguably this is the most important meteorite to have fallen in 100 years and we now have the largest piece in our collections," says Dr Caroline Smith, the meteorite curator at the NHM pictured above. "Martian meteorites are incredibly rare, and when they have been seen to fall and recovered quickly, like Tissint, they offer a unique insight into the Red Planet"

at one and half times the size of the largest meteorite currently held at the museum, the 1.1 kilogramme Tissint fragment is now the largest Martian meteorite in the museum’s collection