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Muonionalusta Meteorite Pendant

Muonionalusta Meteorite Pendant

This necklace features a fragment of the Muonionalusta meteorite set inside a glass sphere. Each sphere measures approximately 9-10 mm in diameter (0.35-0.39 inches) and allows for viewing of the meteorite from either side. 

As pictured, the necklace comes with a handsome display/storage box and a small information card that also serves as the certificate of authenticity. 

All components of the necklace are sterling silver, including the 18" (45cm) box-style chain.

About the Muonionalusta Meteorite

Muonionalusta is an ancient meteorite, discovered in 1906 near the town of Kitkiöjärvi, Sweden. Lead isotope dating of inclusions within the meteorite estimates that the parent formed around 4.57 billion years ago.

Above: A slice of Muonionalusta exhibiting the classic Widmanstätten pattern.

Slices of this meteorite show a particular patterning known as a Widmanstätten pattern. This is an occurrence that can be found in octahedrite iron meteorites. Over long periods of cooling in outer space, two different iron-nickel alloys can be formed simultaneously: Kamacite and Taenite. These two alloys form tiny planes of material in an octagonal structure, which when sliced and polished shows a lattice of overlapping material. Due to the cool duration and environment required, Widmanstätten patterns are only found in meteorite material.

A unique property of the Muonionalusta meteorite is the occurrences of the mineral stishovite within it. This mineral is a polymorph of quartz (SiO2) that is formed under intense pressure. Stishovite is an uncommon material on Earth and had not been known to occur in iron meteorites at all until the study of Muonionalusta. The meteorite’s parent body was too small to reach the necessary levels of pressure and the impact with Earth did not leave evidence of cratering, so it is thought that the formation of this mineral occurred during the break up event of the planet body 400 million years ago.

Further Reading

Blichert-Toft, J., et al., “The early formation of the IVA iron meteorite parent body.” Earth and Planetary Science Letters, vol. 296, 2010, pp. 469-480.

Holstam, D., Broman, C., et al. “First discovery of stishovite in an iron meteorite.” Meteoritics & Planetary Science, vol. 38, no. 11, 2003, pp. 1579–1583.

Tatum, J. “The Widmanstätten pattern.” Meteoritics & Planetary Science, vol. 54, no. 12, 2019, pp. 2977-2984.

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