The 4.5 Billion Year Old Fukang Meteorite

The 4.5 Billion Year Old Fukang Meteorite 8

 Back in the year 2000, a 1,003 kilogram (2,211 lbs) meteorite was discovered near Fukang, a city located in the northwestern region of Xinjiang, China. Named the ‘Fukang meteorite‘, it was identified as a pallasite, a type of stony–iron meteorite, with striking olivine crystals throughout.

Pallasites are extremely rare even among meteorites (only about 1% of all meteorites are this type) and Fukang has been hailed as one of the greatest meteorite discoveries of the 21st century.

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The Fukang pallasite is believed to originate from deep inside intact meteors created during the formation of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago and very few specimens are thought to have survived their descent throug Earth’s atmosphere.

An anonymous group of collectors currently holds the largest portion which weighs 419.5 kg (925 pounds). In 2008 they attempted to sell it at auction at Bonham’s in New York for approximately $2 million but did not receive any biddhers. A total of 31 kilograms (68 lb) of the specimen is on deposit at University of Arizona’s Southwest Meteorite Laboratory.

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Photograph by Southwest Meteorite Laboratory

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19 Comments

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  1. You’d have thought such a big fukang thing would be too big to lift. I like that fukang is 4.5 billion years old. I bet there are a lot of these fukang things underground that landed long ago.

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