ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Dark field micrograph of the surfcace of the iron fine octahedrite type meteorite Muonionalusta, found in Sweden. The Widmanstatten pattern of lines on the newly-cut surface are produced by the edges of crystals in the meteorite. The pattern was formed about 1 billion years ago when the iron mass solidified in one of several minor planets between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. These planets have since been disrupted to form the asteroid belt. The fragments resulting from collisions between asteroids are deflected into orbits that cross the path of the Earth. Analysis of meteorites can provide information on the composition of the early solar system. Object size of this close-up: approx.
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