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Lot
48339

PARTIAL SLICE OF A STUNNING NEW PALLASITE METEORITE . ...

2008 January Signature Natural History Auction #5000

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Auction Ended On: Jan 20, 2008
Item Activity: 4 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
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Description:
PARTIAL SLICE OF A STUNNING NEW PALLASITE METEORITE
Stoney Iron, PAL (Pallasite)
Seymchan, Magadan District, Russia
Found 2005

Meteorites are fragments of extraterrestrial bodies made up of nickel-iron alloys and stone silicates that travel from their source to the Earth's orbit, penetrate the atmosphere in a fiery display, and land on the surface of our planet. Meteorites can originate from asteroids (considered to be the remains of defunct planets), planets, and moons. Pallasites are believed to be from the core-mantle boundary of a planet that was destroyed during the formation of our solar system. This means that pallasites date from the very beginning of our solar system approximately 4.5 billion years ago. Pallasites are made up of a combination of silvery core metal (nickel-iron) and dense silicates, usually olivine in its gorgeous crystalline gem form, called peridot. The nickel-iron alloy of meteorites is comprised of crystals octahedral in shape, which can be exposed by etching the slices with acid to reveal gorgeous geometric patterns of intersecting lines called Widmanstätten Figures, named for their discoverer. Only meteorites will exhibit these patterns when etched and this makes them a valuable diagnostic tool in meteorite identification. The slice offered here exhibits large areas of these stunning patterns which when contrasted with green, yellow and orange olivine crystals makes it a truly spectacular aesthetic display piece, measuring 9⅝ x 5¾ inches, weighing 1,320 grams.

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