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Collection Tier:
Tier 2

Rocks and Minerals ➔ Sikhote-Alin Meteorite

This is an iron meteorite, belonging to the chemical group IIAB.

It fell on February 12, 1947 over the Sikhote-Alin mountains in Eastern Siberia, Russia.  Considered to by one of the largest meteor showers in historical times, occurring in broad daylight with many eyewitnesses. 

The meteor's mass is estimated at 77 tons, with over 23 tons of meteorites having been recovered.  The largest specimen being 1,745 kilograms (3,847 lbs).

This specimen weights 96.3 grams.

This meteorite has a thin, dark brown fusion crust and shallow indentations called regmaglypts.

Both features reflect the melting of the meteor’s surface, due to frictional heating caused by the meteor passing through the denser air of Earth’s atmosphere at a high velocity.

The fusion crust forms when a meteor has lost enough speed to stop frictional heating and the last melt cools to form a thin, glassy coating.

Regmaglypts form in spots where minerals with a lower melting point occur, causing the meteor to lose mass at that location at a faster rate for a longer period of time during frictional heating.

Fusion crusts are usually black, due to the high iron content in meteors, but they can quickly be lost or turn to a dull, rusty brown when subjected to weathering.
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