THE FAMOUS SIKHOTE-ALIN METEORITE
The Sikhote-Alin iron meteorite is a very-well known witnessed fall. Coupled with its fame as a large iron meteorite fall, Sikhote-Alin is a favorite among meteorite collectors for the variety of characteristics they display. In general, iron meteorites often have fantastically different shapes caused by their flight through our atmosphere.
The Sikhote-Alin meteorite fall is one of the largest in recorded history. Scientists estimate that its mass was approximately 220,000 lbs (100,000 kg) before it entered Earth’s atmosphere. Additionally, these massive meteorites left impact craters, some as big as 85 feet across and 20 feet deep.
Sikhote-Alin Iron Meteorite Properties
Generally, Sikhote-Alin iron meteorites fall under two categories: individual specimens and shrapnel or fragments. It’s believed that individual specimens broke off from the main object early in the meteorite’s descent. These meteorites often display regmaglypts, which resemble thumbprints on the surface of iron meteorites. Other Sikhote-Alin individuals have flow lines and rollover lips, caused by atmospheric ablation, or even are oriented. The rarest of Sikhote-Alin iron meteorites display all of these traits and are seldom seen on the market.
Shrapnel fragments are special in their own right, too. For instance, because these pieces exploded during flight, they often have a unique, “torn” appearance. Unclean fragment specimens display a rich natural patina, which they acquired during their time on Earth’s surface.
Sikhote-Alin Mountain Region
In addition to being a fascinating meteorite, Sikhote-Alin is the name of a mountain range in Russia of cultural and scientific importance. These mountains were the closest geological feature to the place where the meteorites fell. The Sikhote-Alin mountain region was the subject of Vladimir Arsenyev’s 1923 book, Dersu Uzala, which was later adapted into an award-winning film directed by Akira Kurosawa.
Furthermore, UNESCO placed the “Central Sikhote-Alin” on the World Heritage List, as the home of several endangered species, such as the scaly-sided merganser, the Blakiston’s fish-owl, and the Amur tiger.
Sikhote-Alin Meteorite Worth
Sikhote-Alin meteorites are valuable additions to private and institutional collections. For example, a large specimen is displayed at the famous Arthur Ross Hall of Meteorites in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Other museum-grade pieces are displayed in Moscow, the UK, and in other museum collections across the world.
Additionally, Sikhote-Alin meteorites are also available for sale for private collectors. To view available inventory, visit our iron meteorites page!