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    Sale 12052

    Science & Natural History

    19 October 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 70

    A GIBEON METEORITE SPHERE

    NAMALAND, NAMIBIA; MODERN CUTTING

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GIBEON METEORITE SPHERE
    NAMALAND, NAMIBIA; MODERN CUTTING
    This sphere reveals in three dimensions the beautiful Widmanstätten pattern that is characteristic of Gibeon specimens
    3½in. (9.5cm.) diameter


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    Discovered in 1836 by James Edward Alexander (1803-85), a specimen of the Gibeon meteorite was sent to London, where it was confirmed as a meteorite by the astronomer John Herschel (1792-1871). Later research has determined the fall date to have been between 5,000 and 30,000 years ago. Originating from the molten core of an asteroid and after travelling millions of years in interplanetary space, it fell into Earth’s upper atmosphere before exploding and raining down over an elliptical strewn field in what is now Namibia. Due to a relatively high nickel content (8%), Gibeon is ductile and not as prone to oxidizing as most other iron meteorites. Only when cut and etched, the fine octahedral intergrowth of a Gibeon’s primary alloys is revealed.