METEORITE OR METEORWRONG?

fusion crust

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This is one of many stones of the Gao-Guenie (H5 chondrite) meteorite that fell in Burkina Fasa (western Africa) in 1960. The stone has a nearly complete fusion crust. Such stones are always rounded, with no sharp edges of corners. There is a hint of a regmaglypt on the far right. Photo by Randy Korotev.


Not all fusion crusts are smooth.


This is a freshly fallen stone from a minor meteorite shower that occurred in India on May 22, 2012. Note the regmaglypts and the light-colorered interior on the left where the fusion crust has chipped off.

  
The Ash Creek (L6 chondrite) meteorite was an observed fall in Texas on February 15, 2009. The meteor was captured on video, where it is seen to break apart. Hundreds of small stones have been found around the town of West, Here are 11 of them from the collection of Karl Aston. The stone in the lower left is the most rounded by ablation. It has a complete fusion crust and some regmaglypts. Among these stones, it is probably the earliest to have broken off the main mass of the original meteoroid. Several other stones have complete or nearly complete fusion crusts, regmaglypts, and edges rounded by ablation. These stones probably formed lower in the atmosphere. The large stone in the middle has a smooth, dark fusion crust on the bottom side that we can't see, but on top there's a light fusion crust and only a little ablation. This break must have happened at even lower altitude, but still high enough that heating occurred. Finally, some stones have breaks and chips that happened low in the atmosphere or upon hitting the earth. The light-colored interior is visible on these stones. (Photo by Randy Korotev. Thanks to Karl Aston for showing us the stones.)


This is one of the many Park Forest (L5 chondrite) stones that fell in Chicago on March 26, 2003. This one went through a roof and broke into four pieces. (Thanks to Karl Aston for showing us the stones.) Many Park Forest stones have a patchy fusion crust. The meteorite is a breccia, with light gray clasts in a dark matrix. Thanks to Carrie Seniw for the photos.


I was sent these photos by someone in Morocco claiming that they are photos of lunar meteorite NWA 7325. Maybe they are, maybe they're not, but they are good photos of fusion crust. The stones are about 2-3 cm in size.


This is another photo of a broken meteorite sent to me by someone in Morocco. The meteorite is a bit weathered. The fusion crust has lost its gloss. You can't see the metal, but you can see rusty spots.
  

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Read about vesicular fusion crusts on lunar meteorites.


www.catchafallingstar.com
www.catchafallingstar.com


Prepared by:

Randy L. Korotev


Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Washington University in St. Louis


Please don't contact me about the meteorite you think you’ve found until you read this and this.

e-mailkorotev@wustl.edu