Gibeon Meteorite Crystalline Structure Dramatized in Three Dimensions
Iron, fine octahedrite
Gibeon, Great Nama Land, Namibia
This exquisite display piece provides an impressive reveal on the internal structure of an iron meteoritein three dimensionsto marvelous effect. Millions of years are required for the two major alloys of iron meteorites to crystallize. When the planetary body from which this meteorite originated broke apart, the hot metallic core encountered few molecules in the vacuum of space to which it could transfer its heat, thus providing sufficient time for the molecules of the alloys, kamacite and taenite, to form their octahedral crystalline habit. No environment other than the vacuum of space provides for such an extended cooling curve, The presence of this grid, otherwise known as a Widmanstätten pattern, is diagnostic in the identification of iron meteorites. The hole seen here is the result of cutting around and through a deep scoop in the meteorites surface. The five cut surfaces of this specimen display a shimmering latticework accented with charcoal-hued troilite. On the reverse, in a slate to mahogany patina, is a single concavity that slopes from the four sides of the specimen down to the near-central perforation. An intriguing study of the interior structure and exterior surface of an iron meteorite.
89 x 71 x 52mm (3.5 x 2.75 x 2in) and 979 grams (2.1 pounds)
- The caption for the top photograph in the catalog, on page 22, should read 21.