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    Sale 12052

    Science & Natural History

    19 October 2016, London, South Kensington

  • Lot 67

    PARTIAL SLICE OF NWA 8257 THE RAW INGREDIENTS OF THE PLANETS

    LL3 (PROVISIONAL)
    SAHARA DESERT, NORTH WEST AFRICA

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    PARTIAL SLICE OF NWA 8257 THE RAW INGREDIENTS OF THE PLANETS
    LL3 (provisional)
    Sahara Desert, North West Africa
    This partial slice contains an abundance of densely packed chondrules with variable textures held together by fine-grained silicate matrix material (compacted nebular dust dating from the earliest stages of solar-system history). The matrix is extremely fresh and is delimited by three cut edges and a natural rim.
    99 x 79 x 2mm (3¾ x 3 x 1/8in.)
    78.2g


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    Now offered is a partial slice of the 8257th catalogued meteorite from the Northwest African grid of the Sahara Desert. Nomads who have learned to become experts in hunting of meteorites found it as a single 17.45 kg stone. NWA 8257 is scientifically significant: unlike 99% of other stone meteorites, the material seen here has remained largely unchanged since its origins in the cloud of gas and dust known as the “solar nebula.” This is a rare glimpse of the raw ingredients that formed the planets, moons, comets and asteroids of the solar system. The onset of planetary processes (e.g., heat, pressure, water alteration, etc.) blended and baked the primitive ingredients seen in this specimen into the aforementioned celestial bodies. Research is currently being done on other specimens of NWA 8257 as a result of its scientific allure: it is petrologically primitive, extremely fresh and it shares affinities with other scientifically significant meteorites. Less than 32 kg of planetary material has been recovered that is more primitive than NWA 8257. This is an exemplary specimen of an important meteorite.

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