Muonionalusta Meteorite

Muonionalusta Meteorite

$1,650.00
Availability: Out of stock

Quick Overview

Location: Kitkiöjärvi, Norrbotten County, Sweden
Weight: 998g
Measurements: ~ 5" x 3" x 1-1/2"

More Information:

The Muonionalusta is a nickel-iron meteorite first discovered in Sweden in 1906. Nearly 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle near the small village of Kitkiöjärvi, two children stumbled over a rusty metal object lodged in the ground. After several years of study it was concluded to be an iron meteorite.

It is thought to have fallen approximately 800,000 years ago, making it the largest meteorite to have fallen during our present geological period, "the Quatenary", spanning more than 2.5 million years.

It is generally assumed these meteorite specimens were transported by glacial action from the original strewnfield. The Muonionalusta meteorite is buried in the permafrost and must be excavated by hand. It is also significant to science as the first iron meteorite in which Stishovite was found, a rare and extremely hard silicon dioxide polymorph of quartz that is formed by very high shock pressure. Classic Widmanstätten patterns are visible; characteristic for iron meteorites they form an unearthly metallic grid in shimmering shades of gray and silver, comprising two forms of extraterrestrial nickel-iron, kamacite and taenite.

The meteorite is a piece of what used to be the core or mantle of another planet. It has an extremely high nickel content, 8.4%, and other small amounts of elements which are rare on earth. However, the majority of its weight, "nearly 90%", is iron.

The Muonionalusta is a fine octahedrite meteorite, giving the design seen on the surface of cross sections a very fine detail. This pattern, called a Widmanstätten pattern, is made up of nickle-iron crystals that form only with the extremely long cooling time granted by hurtling through space. They are seen when a meteorite is etched with an acid to raise the pattern, and make the slices of Muonionalusta especially attractive.