DescriptionWILLAMETTE METEORITE - THE MOST FAMOUS METEORITE IN THE WORLD
Iron, medium octahedrite; shocked and recrystallizedClackamas County, Oregon
This partial slice of the Willamette meteorite was cut from the 15.5 ton centerpiece exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The Willamette meteorite is the largest meteorite found in North America and the 6th largest in the world. It is believed the meteorite fell in Canada or Montana and was deposited in Oregon by a glacier during the last Ice Age. Discovered in 1902, the meteorite was exhibited at the 1905 World's Fair and sold to Mrs. William E. Dodge, who then gifted the meteorite to the American Museum, where the meteorite has been on display for 103 years. It has been the centerpiece in two renowned Museum facilities (the Hayden Planetarium and the Rose Center for Earth and Space) where it has been seen or touched by an estimated 50 million people. In 1999 a coalition of Oregonian Native Americans filed a claim to have the meteorite returned to Oregon. The Museum filed a lawsuit in federal court that challenged the claim and the parties settled out-of-court, where it was agreed the meteorite would remain a Museum centerpiece and never again be cut. As evidenced by the internal matrix seen here, the Willamette meteorite is recrystallized, the result of a cataclysmic collision in outer space. Featuring one rim of the meteorite's exterior, this is a fine specimen of the most famous meteorite in the world. 62 x 28 x 2mm (2.5 x 1 x 0.1 inches) and 12.54 grams.
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