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    Description

    AN EXCEPTIONAL LARGE ORIENTED STONE METEORITE
    M882, a Probable L6 or H6 Chondrite
    Western Sahara Desert, Discovered 2008
    Northwest Africa

    Among the most prized specimens sought-out by meteorite collectors are flight-orientated specimens. Typically these specimens will have a pyramidal nose-cone shape due to the melting and ablation of melted material and spalling-off of small chunks from high stress areas (i.e. the most heated) during their fiery descent through our atmosphere. During this spectacular process, a meteoroid can tumble or can assume a semi-aerodynamic orientation which minimizes friction and wind resistance. The most aerodynamic flight orientation would be with the narrowest point of the stone pointed down in the direction of flight with the mass of the meteorite equally distributed around the flight axis. As melting and spalling progresses, the meteoroid will gradually be sculpted into the shape of a cone with the point of the cone aligned with the direction of travel. Turbulence, caused by eddy air flow around projections from the surface, locally increase the melt and spall rate in these areas because the eddy flow acts like a blow torch concentrating the hottest air jets on these surface projections. This phenomenon has the effect of smoothing the flight surface of the meteoroid the longer it remains in stable semi-aerodynamic flight. The ideal situation would be the meteoroid spinning around the axis of travel as it was descending. In this situation, the stone would assume a nearly perfect cone or hemisphere shape. This stone was well-oriented during flight but was not spinning, so it has large areas of thumb printing, called regmaglypts, from differential melting during its descent. Well regmaglypted specimens such as this one are considered highly desirable. This meteorite is probably an L6 chondrite, like the famous West, Texas meteorite offered elsewhere in this catalog, or an H6 chondrite, among the most common types. 90% of the stone is covered with fresh and beautiful black and reddish-black fusion crust from the flight-melting and has large gorgeous regmaglypts across virtually the entire surface, but especially on the surfaces furthest from the point of the nose cone (the top surfaces, as it is oriented on the stand). It is mounted on a custom black steel stand in an orientation with the nose cone down that approximates its flight position as it traveled through the atmosphere. It measures 9 1/2 x 5 3/4 x 5 inches and weighs 4.95 kilograms or approximately 11 pounds. Stone meteorites this large are very rare, less than 1 in a thousand is this big. An outstanding, very aesthetic display specimen.


    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
    May, 2009
    17th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,596

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

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