Aletai 6.2g


Meteorite Type: Iron, IIIE-an
Approximate Measurements: See 1 cm scale cube for reference

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Iron, IIIE-an
Found 1898 Xinjiang, China

Aletai has a fascinating story, outlined in the Meteoritical Bulletin. Many iron meteorite masses had turned up in the northern part of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China, under the names Armanty and Xinjiang (b). The hulking Armanty mass weighed 28 tonnes and is also known as the “Armanty mass of Aletai,” according to the Meteoritical Bulletin entry. The other large masses, Wuxilike and Akebulake, weigh 18 tonnes and 5 tonnes respectively. Wuxilike was found by a farmer, half concealed under the Earth and covered by terrestrial rocks; heavy machinery had to be used to move the mass to the discoverer’s home. The Akebulake mass was found in the mountains in 2011, where it was half-covered by a granite slab. The piece displayed evidence of graffiti and cuts, so city officials built a road to remove the mass; it now resides in the city hall.

Aletai is primarily composed of kamacite and taenite, with smaller amounts of schreibersite and haxonite. There are only 16 iron meteorites classified as IIIE irons on record. Aletai is one of only two of these that contains anomalous chemical abundance, like a high concentration of gold and iridium.

Additional information

Weight 6.2 g


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