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meteorite - 2

Arizona State University, and Dr. Elbert King, University of

Houston

Geology

Department.

The

examination

took

place

with

the meteorite inside a lunar-type glove box flushed with dry

nitrogen

gas.

A

binocular

microscope

was

sed

for

the

initial

examination.

Dr. Brian Mason of the Smithsonian Institution and one of the

leading

experts

on

meterites

was

sent

a

.4

gram

(point

four

gram)

sample from the meteorite fragment and provided further petrographic

analysis using thin sections from the sample.

The carbonaceous chondrite which was examined is a 19.9l gram

(nineteen

point

nine-one

gram)

sample

which

has

an

overall

charcoal

grey

color

with

a

slight

olive

green

cast.

The

interior

consists of a fine-grained grey matrix with about two to three

percent light inclusions called chondrules.

The meteorite fragment is a Type II carbonaceous chondrite, not

the rarest sample which are Type I's, but the next rarest type.

Fifteen other Type II samples have been found, though none in

so

clean

a

condition

and

so

well

preserved.

The

Type

II

carbona-

ceous chondrites have previously been shown to contain amino acids

of

a

non-terrestrial

origin.

This

suggests

the

chemical

formation

of complex organic molecules can occur in other regions of our

solar

system.

Carbonaceous

chondrites,

like

other

meteorites,

are

4.5

to

4.6

billion

years

old.

This

age

is

believed

to

be

  • -

    more-

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