METEORITE OR METEORWRONG?
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Chondrules and metal grains on a sawn face of an unnamed chondrite (probably
H5) from northern Chile. This photo was taken with natural light from
a north-facing window on a sunny, clear day, so it looks a bit blue. Millimeter
scale in background.
Here's a sawn face of another unnamed (L?) chondrite showing metal grains
and chondrules. This photo was taken with light from a high-intesity desk
lamp. I rebalanced the color to make the gray background be gray. Millimeter
scale in background.
| Ordinary chondrite
pebbles found in the Sahara desert. Most are broken, but a partial fusion
crust is intact on many of them. Notice that despite that all of them
contain metal, they are not rusty colored.
|Three views of the same stone, another
unnamed ordinary chondrite (probably H chondrite) from northwest Africa.
Above left: The unspectacular weathered exterior in direct sunlight.
Above right: A polished, sawn face in direct sunlight. All the
dark areas are alteration rims (rust) around the metal grains.
Right: The same face illuminated by a north-facing window. The
metal grains are more obvious in this view. The rock looks grayer
than it actually is in this view because of the polish and blue lighting.
It is likely that this meteorite fell thousands of years ago.
|This meteorite violates a
number of the recognition principles that I stress in "Some
Meteorite Realities." There is no obvious fusion
crust. The surface is not glassy or shiny; there are no regmaglypts.
The exterior has some ridges and one point. It's clearly a broken fragment
of a larger meteorite. If you look closely at the image on the upper left
(click on image to enlarge), however, there are shiny metal grains along
all the protuberances (points, ridges) because these areas have been abraded
from handling. Also, the specific gravity is 3.42,
well within the range of ordinary chondrites.
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*See the density web page for a tabulation of the
relative abundance of different kinds of meteorites.