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    Description

    A GLIMPSE OF EXTRATERRESTRIAL CRYSTAL STRUCTURE
    Muonionalusta
    Iron, fine octahedrite
    Lapland, Sweden

    This is the sliced end section from a rare meteorite find, Muonionalusta. The north of Sweden is home to Reindeer, the indigenous Salmi people, and the aurora borealis. Sparsely populated, it wasn't till 1906 that the first Muonionalusta meteorite was discovered. Glacial activity has distributed the Mounionalusta strewn field across a large area since its fall over 800,000 years ago making it extremely difficult to locate specimens. The present specimen displays the dramatic contrast between the interior and exterior of this fine octahedrite. The exterior exhibits a typically characterful fusion crust, with delicate rust shades nestling in the pitted areas, but the real interest is the sliced and polished inner surface that reveals the secret of a meteorite's make-up. Strange crisscrossing lines of an indefinable regularity cover the exposed surface, unlike anything one could imagine finding on Earth; these are the Widmanstätten figures, shining with infinite varieties of silver and gray. Named for Count Alois von Beckh Widmanstätten, curator of the Austrian emperor's cabinet of technological curiosities and director of the Imperial porcelain works in the early 19th century, these patterns are exposed only after slicing, polishing and acid etching, and are unique to the crystalline structure of iron octahedrites. This wonderful example is as fine an exhibition of this uniquely extraterrestrial mixture of kamacite and taenite as one could hope to find, and measures 5½ x 4½ inches and weighs 1,340 grams.


    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    January, 2008
    20th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 9
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,009

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    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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