Description

    A HUGE FULL SLICE OF A STUNNING NEW PALLASITE Meteorite Type: Pallasite (PAL)
    Seymchan, Magadan District, Russia
    Discovered in 2005

    Meteoroids are fragments of extraterrestrial bodies, made up of nickel-iron alloys and stone silicates, some of which travel from their original source to Earth's orbit where they are captured by the strong gravitational field. Eventually, the captured meteoroid's orbit decays sufficiently so that friction with the atmosphere reduces its kinetic energy to the point that it spirals down towards the Earth's surface in a fiery, spectacular display called a meteor. If a meteor doesn't completely burn up in its final death spiral and lands on the face of our planet, it will be called a meteorite. Meteorites can originate from asteroids which are considered to be the remnants of a protoplanet that was either blown apart by large gravitational sheer forces, or, never actually was able to accrete and form, during the coalescence of our solar system from a cloud of gas and dust approximately 4.6 billion years ago. Meteorites can also originate from planets such as Mars and possibly Mercury and the Moon. Pallasites are believed to come from the core-mantle boundary of a small planet or asteroid that was destroyed during, or shortly after, the formation of our solar system. This means that pallasites date from the very beginning of our solar system, and radioactive fission-track dating confirms ages of 4.1-4.4 billion years for a large sampling of known pallasites. Pallasites are made up of a combination of silvery nickel-iron core metal and dense silicates - usually olivine in its gorgeous crystalline gem form, called peridot. Peridot is a highly sought-after gemstone that was prized by the ancient Egyptians who used it extensively in their royal jewelry. Peridot can range in color from emerald green to orange to dark smoky jet, and all of these colors are present in this incredible meteorite slice (some of the crystals in this slice are transparent and will transmit light!). The nickel-iron alloy of meteorites is comprised of an interlocking network of octahedral crystals which can be exposed in two dimensions by slicing the meteorite and etching it with acid. The resultant intersecting patterns of geometric shapes and lines is truly gorgeous and are called Widmanstatten figures. Widmanstatten figures occur only in meteorites and are the primary tool in correctly identifying iron meteorites. This slice, which is a complete cross-section from a large individual, has vast areas of these stunning patterns which, when contrasted with the lovely green, orange and dark olivine crystals, paint a breathtaking picture of the structure and mechanics of a planet's interior. Pallasites literally provide a glimpse under the hood of our planet's engine! This spectacular slice boasts a complete rim of fusion crust and measures 17 ¼ x 13 ½ x ¼ inch thick and weighs 3,890 grams.


    Estimate: $18,000 - $22,000.

    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. 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.

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    8th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
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