The 4.5 billion year old Fukang meteorite fell in the Gobi Desert, China, and is spectacularly beautiful with iridescent yellow crystals..
In 2000, a climber approached Phu Khang mountain range, in China, discovered iron meteorites mixed with rocks, filled with crystals resembling honeycombs. Currently, this is it The most famous meteorite in the worldtheo ƖFL Science.
The cross section of the Phu Khang meteorite creates a shimmering golden color effect
The cross section of the Phu Khang meteorite creates a shimmering golden color effect when it shines in the sun. (Photo: Wikimedia)
The Phu Khang meteorite belongs to a rare class of meteorites called pallasite.. They are characterized by small pieces of olivine crystals (a silicate mineral) woven between an iron-nickel network. When cut and polished, pallasite reveals transparent crystals, often green, or sometimes yellow, brown or golden, resulting from weathering on Earth.
The type of meteorite above is named Pierre Simon PallasGerman physician and naturalist, who was the first to describe it Pallasite meteorite from Krasnojarsk in 1772. This strange block of iron was discovered by a blacksmith in Siberia in the early 18th century and brought to St. Petersburg for analysis.
Due to its unusual and impressive shape, Pallasite was one of the first extraterrestrial materials to be identified and recognized. They provide important and unique information about the solar system, as it was formed 4.5 billion years ago. Researchers believe that pallasite forms in differentiated asteroids (asteroids separate into two parts, including the core and the mantle, due to the impact of thermal processes).
According to O. Richard Norton, author of the Cambridge Meteorite Encyclopedia, during the process of differentiation, crystals created by fragmentation separate the two main minerals of the celestial body, creating the conditions for the mineral olivine to accumulate outside asteroids. This may explain why pallasite is so rare. They represent less than 0.2% of all known meteorites on Earth.
The mountaineer who found the Phu Khang meteorite was very curious about the unusual crystals and metals revealed by the 1,003 kg specimen. He decided to send a sample of the rock for analysis. From then on, the meteorite was divided into numerous pieces, revealing its stained glass appearance. Until now, Phu Khang remains one of the most sought-after and valuable meteorites on the planet.
In February 2005, a large piece of the original specimen appeared at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Exhibition. In 2008, a large block of the Fu Khang meteorite weighing approximately 420 kg was sold at auction in New York for an expected price of more than $2 million. However, the buyer changed his mind and chose fossilized dinosaur droppings. In 2021, auction house Christie’s announced that it had sold a small piece of the Fu Khang meteorite for $30,000.
Article source: VNE
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The 4.5 billion-year-old Fu Khang meteorite fell in China’s Gobi Desert and displays a golden, iridescent crystalline beauty. In 2000, a hiker hiking near the…