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Crystal structures in meteorite

Crystal structures in meteorite

R305/0176

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Credit

DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DIRK WIERSMA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Crystal structures in meteorite. Crystalline structure of an iron-nickel meteorite revealed by chemical etching of a polished surface. The iron-nickel alloys in meteorites are called taenite (8-55% nickel) and kamacite (5% nickel). This characteristic pattern of intertwined crystals of the two types of alloy is known as the Widmannstatten structure, after Aloys von Widmannstatten, scientist and director of the Technical Museum of Vienna in the early 19th century. This sample was obtained from the Gibeon, a massive meteorite that landed in the Namibian desert in prehistoric times.

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