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    Iron, Fine (IVA) octahedrite
    Kiruna, Norrbotten, Northern Sweden

    Although it was first discovered by a pair of children in 1906 (with oral reports of a lost specimen from 1870 or so), and a second specimen recovered only in 1946, the Muonionalusta meteorite is believed to have fallen over 800,000 years ago. This marvelous end piece displays the best of both worlds: much of the surface is covered in the rough metallic fusion crust, formed by the intense heat and velocity of the meteorite's fiery descent through the Earth's atmosphere, but where it has been sliced, the flat surface was etched with nitric acid to reveal the strange Widmänstatten patterns characteristic of iron octahedrites. This intermeshed pattern of lines in different shades of silvery gray is formed by a lattice of kamacite and taenite, two otherworldly nickel-iron alloys. Count Alois von Beckh Widmanstatten was an Austrian printer and scientist who discovered the extraterrestrial phenomenon in 1808 whilst heating an iron meteorite. Although he did not publish his findings, communicating them only via word of mouth, he was given full credit and the honor of their being named after him. In fact, these patterns had already been discovered by G. Thomson, an English geologist working in Palermo who had actually published his findings four years earlier, but only rarely are these referred to as Thomson patterns. This excellent specimen shows particularly good definition and three-dimensionality to the patterning, and measures 3 7/8 x 2 5/8 x 1¾ inches, weighing in at 979 grams (2.158 pounds).

    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2009
    17th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,570

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

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