Alien mineral found in meteorite, plans underway to mine Pandora

NASA scientists have discovered a previously unknown type of mineral hiding inside a 4.5 billion year old meteorite. It's a crystalline form of titanium and sulfur, and we've never seen anything like it on Earth.

Instead of being called unobtainium, the new mineral has been named wassonite, in honor of UCLA planetary scientist John Wasson. The meteorite with wassonite inside was first discovered in Antarctica in 1969, but the grains of the mineral are so small that they weren't isolated and identified until just recently, with the help of some fancy new focused ion beam instrumentation that allows for nano-scale chemical analysis.

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Wassonite is very simple, being made up of only titanium and sulfur, but the crystalline structure is unique and nobody's ever seen it before. So far, there's no speculation as to where we could get more of this stuff of what it would be good for if we did, but inevitably, it's going to become a critical component in the iPhone 6 and we'll have to start recklessly strip-mining some idyllic alien paradise to satisfy our lust for new gadgets.

NASA, via MSNBC

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