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NWA 869 chondritic meteorite. Weight of specimen is 306 grams (larger specimen) and 200 grams. The Northwest Africa 869 meteorite is an L3-6 regolith breccia. This meteorite originated from the surface layers of a smaller undifferentiated asteroid that was involved in major space collisions with other types of asteroids. The collisions resulted in smashing up parts of the different asteroids which then became inter-mixed and later consolidated into a fragmented rock know as a breccia. NWA 869 represents a mix of more than one type of asteroid parent body. The photos show an individual meteorite with a remnant fusion crust and desert varnish coating the surface.

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Sayh al Uhaymir (SaU) 001 L4/5 ordinary chondrite meteorite from Sayh al Uhaymir, Oman. Weight is 135 grams. At first glance, what sometimes looks like such an uninteresting, plain and boring rock, can in fact have such enormous scientific significance that it staggers the mind. This meteorite nicely displays a black fusion crust with a broken and weathered interior showing small chondrules. The thin fusion crust results from melting of the outer layer of the meteoroid as it “burns up” in the atmosphere. The small cracks seen in the crust are formed when the hot surface cools and contracts. The small round balls seen on the broken surfaces are chondrules that formed in the early solar nebula, long before the planets. This meteorite is 4.6 billion years old and originated in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

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NWA 869 chondritic meteorite. Weight of specimen is 306 grams. The Northwest Africa 869 meteorite is an L3-6 regolith breccia. This meteorite originated from the surface layers of a smaller undifferentiated asteroid that was involved in major space collisions with other types of asteroids. The collisions resulted in smashing up parts of the different asteroids which then became inter-mixed and later consolidated into a fragmented rock know as a breccia. NWA 869 represents a mix of more than one type of asteroid parent body. The photos show an individual meteorite with a remnant fusion crust and desert varnish coating the surface.

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NWA 869 cnondritic meteorite. Weight of specimen is 200 grams. The Northwest Africa 869 meteorite is an L3-6 regolith breccia. This meteorite originated from the surface layers of a smaller undifferentiated asteroid that was involved in major space collisions with other types of asteroids. The collisions resulted in smashing up parts of the different asteroids which then became inter-mixed and later consolidated into a fragmented rock know as a breccia. NWA 869 represents a mix of more than one type of asteroid parent body. The photos show an individual meteorite with desert varnish coating the surface. Click here to view a slice of the inside of this meteorite.

Sikhote-Alin individual iron meteorite. Structural classification is coarsest octahedrite type IIB. Weight is 85 grams. Well developed regmaglypts (thumb prints) resulted from ablation of the meteoroid as it melted during flight. Stippled areas, on an otherwise smooth surface, are splash fields where molten iron-nickel splashed across the surface during flight through the atmosphere, marring what would have become a  pristine fusion crust. The Sikhote-Alin Meteorite was an observed fall on the Sikhote-Alin mountains in Siberia in 1947. An estimated 70 Tonnes of this iron-nickel meteorite made it to the ground. Two forms of this meteorite exist. The “Individual” that is shown in this picture is a broken piece of the main mass that continued to “burn up” in the atmosphere before hitting the ground. The “Shrapnel” form consists of torn and twisted fragments that formed when the meteoroid exploded near the ground or upon impaction. The individuals of the Sikhote-Alin fall are one of the most sought after meteorites by collectors because of their exquisite shapes and character. I will post photos of the sharpnel form at a later date.