King Tut had a space dagger.
An X-ray analysis of Tutankhamun’s
dagger blade revealed not only that
it was made of an iron meteorite, but
that the material actually came from
the Kharga meteorite, which fell to
Egypt thousands of years ago. SourceSource 2Source 3
Ever wonder what a meteorite looks like inside? These image were made in cross-polarized light, where a polarizer between the light source and the microscope slide is rotated. The beautiful effect, called birefringence, causes the colors of the crystals in the meteorite’s minerals to change, creating amazing colors, as the polarizer is rotated.
Astronomers and planetary geologists study meteorites in thin section to determine their material makeup. The colors and angles of refraction of the light through the crystals help identify the crystals. Some of the material inside meteorites are quite likely as old as, or older than, the Earth itself.
1,2) The Allende meteorites (named after a pueblito in Mexico called Allende where they fell in 1969) contain interstellar dust particles which are thought to be the oldest unaltered particles in our Solar System.
3) This meteorite is called NWA 4292 and was found in the Sahara Desert in Africa in 2005.
The Fukang meteorite, believed to be some 4.5 billion years old, was found near a town of the same name in China, in 2000. It is a pallasite, a type of meteorite with golden crystals of a mineral called olivine embedded in a silvery honeycomb of nickel-iron.
The original meteorite weighted just over a thousand kilogram (~2k pounds), but the rock was so brilliant that everybody wanted a piece of it. Since then it has been divided into dozens of thin slices and auctioned or distributed around the world. Fukang is possibly the most stunning extraterrestrial piece of rock man has ever seen.
King Tut was buried with a dagger made of an iron that literally came from space, says a new study into the composition of the iron blade from the sarcophagus of the boy king.
Using non-invasive, portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, a team of Italian and Egyptian researchers confirmed that the iron of the dagger placed on the right thigh of King Tut’s mummified body has meteoric origin.
The team, which include researchers from Milan Polytechnic, Pisa University and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, detailed their results in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.
The weapon, now on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, was described in 1925 by Howard Carter, who three years before had discovered the treasure-packed tomb, as “a highly ornamented gold dagger with crystal knob.” Read more.
Agatized dinosaur bone is a rare form of fossilized dinosaur bone where the original fossilized bone (typically permineralized with calcite) has been re-mineralized (replaced/substituted) with silica-type compounds (agate, jasper, chalcedony, or opal). This bone comes from the Bushy Basin Member of the Morrison Formation, approximately 150 million years old. The large cell structure indicates it came from a theropod (meating-eating dinosaur).
Gibeon is an iron-nickel meteorite that fell in prehistoric times in Namibia. The crystal structure of this meteorite provides a classic example of fine octahedrite and the Widmanstatten pattern is appreciated for its beauty both by collectors and designers of jewelry.