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    Aouinet Legraa - Complete Slice of a Sample from the Asteroid Vesta
    HED achondrite (Eucrite, unbrecciated)
    Tindouf, Algeria - (27° 5'N, 7° 1'W)

    An extremely bright fireball was seen at approximately 11pm on July 17, 2013 in Tindouf and Aum el Assel, Algeria. A search for meteorites was initiated by meteorite hunters living in the Sahrawi refugee camps of Tindouf. Months went by and hundreds of square miles were canvassed but nothing was found. In the course of the search, however, many other meteorites were discovered-including the strewn field of a Martian meteorite shower now known as NWA 8656. Nine months following the fireball, the Aouinet Legraa strewn field was finally located. Preserved by the Sahara, numerous stones with glossy black fusion crust where recovered from the tan desert sands. The leader of the meteorite-hunting expedition wrote, "The men were so happy; the joy we had was nearly same as what water brings when the need is most desperate. Our finding this was not by chance, but the result of hard continuous work, and it is our endless passion for discovery which makes us free men."

    There are only two unbrecciated eucrite falls. This is scientifically significant as the research challenges associated with brecciation (the mixing of materials) are avoided. Overwhelming scientific evidence-including that from NASA's Dawn space probe that orbited Vesta-indicates that almost all eucrites originate from Vesta, the second largest asteroid in the solar system. Aouinet Legraa arrived on Earth as a result of an asteroid having slammed into Vesta which launched material into interplanetary space-some of which entered an Earth-crossing orbit before igniting the passion of discovery for a band of refugees.

    This is a complete slice from one of the larger Aouinet Legraa masses recovered. Vitreous plagioclase laths, abundant bronze-colored sulfides and grains of prismatic pigeonite are abound. To the naked eye there is mottling in a gray matrix. To be more fully appreciated, a magnifying glass will reveal innumerable small crystals and mineral grains packed tightly together. Jet black fusion crust, the result of this meteorite's fiery descent through Earth's atmosphere wraps around the edge of this specimen. This is among the largest complete slices of what is only the second unbrecciated eucrite fall.
    Overall Measurements: 7.75 x 6.25 x 0.1 inches (19.68 x 15.87 x 0.25 cm), weighs 217.9 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. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2019
    20th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 700

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