- Meteorite Type: Stone (L4-6)
- Meteorite Weight: 5.2 kilograms
- Meteorite Measurements: 203 mm x 150 mm x 100 mm
- Additional Information: A large, exquisitely-prepared end cut. The cut face on this impressive piece displays lovely cream-colored chondrules against the blue-hued groundmass. The interior is further adorned by speckles of delicate metal flakes, which become highly visible in sunlight. The exterior of this meteorite tales a tale of a much larger mass that was blasted apart during a collision event or as it hurtled through Earth’s atmosphere. This piece has a smooth, regmaglypted face dotted with caliche, representing the exterior of the larger, original mass. The three rougher sides are the mass’s interior, which were revealed after the violent collision event. This massive end cut sits naturally one of its faces, as photographed.
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Born by fire, Northwest Africa 869 is one of the more fascinating and affordable meteorites available to collectors. It has an unusual classification, L 3-6, meaning it shows characteristics of different meteorite types within the same mass. NWA 869 is a breccia — a rock made up of fragments of other rocks that have been compressed or cemented together. The most likely explanation for the formation of this mosaic-like mixture of space material is the collision of asteroids, millions or billions of years ago, somewhere in the void between Mars and Jupiter. NWA 869 illustrates the monumental processes at work in the solar system and its diverse and fascinating structure means it is sometime described as “an entire meteorite classroom in a single rock.”
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