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Octahedrite (Murnpeowie Meteorite) | by James St. John
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Octahedrite (Murnpeowie Meteorite)

Murnpeowie Meteorite - this spectacular, 2520 pound iron meteorite was found in the South Australian Outback in 1909. The mass has a well-preserved, dark-colored, outer surface with nice regmaglypts (surface cavities). Iron meteorites exposed at Earth's surface oxidize & rust relatively quickly. Given the fresh nature of Murnpeowie, it's been estimated that it fell to Earth within five years of it being found.

 

This rock is an octahedrite, dominated by kamacite & taenite. Sample material cut away for analysis (see dark orangish-colored area at upper left of meteorite) has shown that the Widmanstätten structure commonly seen in octahedrites is not well preserved in Murnpeowie. This has been inferred to be evidence for a significant heating event at some time in the rock's history.

 

(SAM Met 30A, South Australian Museum, Adelaide, Australia)

 

Location: South Autralian Outback between Lake Callabonna and Lake Blanche, NNE of Mt. Hopeless, near the Strzelecki Track, eastern South Australia.

 

 

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Taken on February 13, 2019