Meteorite Alan Hills (ALH) 84001


  • For about four decades scientists have debated if the organic compounds found on the surface of the meteorite called Alan Hills (ALH) 84001–which landed on Earth from Mars in 1984 – were proof of ancient, primitive life on Mars.

  • These debates also included the possibilities that the compounds could have come from volcanic activity, impact events on Mars or hydrological exposure.

Meteorite basics

  • The difference between a meteor, meteorite and meteoroid is nothing but where the object is.
    • Meteoroids are objects in space that range in size from dust grains to small asteroids.
    • But when meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere they are called meteors.

      Alan Hills (ALH) 84001 meteorite
      Credit: Wikipedia
    • But if a meteoroid enters the Earth’s atmosphere and hits the ground, it is called a meteorite.
  • Space agencies have launched specific missions to asteroids to be able to study them.
    • One such example is NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission launched in 2018 with the aim of reaching asteroid Bennu and getting back a sample from the ancient asteroid.

About Alan Hills (ALH) 84001 meteorite

  • Alan Hills (ALH) 84001 was found during a snowmobile ride on December 27, 1984 in the Far Western Icefield of Allan Hills in Antarctica by a US meteorite hunting expedition.
  • At the time of its discovery it was recognised as the most unusual rock collected.

Source: IE

Visit Abhiyan PEDIA (One of the Most Followed / Recommended) for UPSC Revisions: Click Here

IAS Abhiyan is now on Telegram: Click on the Below link to Join our Channels to stay Updated 

IAS Abhiyan Official: Click Here to Join

For UPSC Mains Value Edition (Facts, Quotes, Best Practices, Case Studies): Click Here to Join

Leave a Reply