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Owens Valley

C.5.2.3. + Owens Valley (AMNH 2636). Medium and fine crystals hero.jpg

Exhibition Text

Medium and fine crystals

These medium- and fine-grained meteorites have much thinner crystals than the coarse-grained samples above. Finer patterns generally indicate higher nickel content, because nickel limits the growth of the kamacite crystals that produce the Widmanstätten pattern.

Finer crystals are also produced by faster cooling. Gibeon (below, left), for example, has smaller crystals than Owens Valley (below), even though it has slightly less nickel. The most likely explanation is that Gibeon cooled more quickly than Owens Valley—indicating that it came from a smaller parent body. 

Collection Information

OWENS VALLEY

Found 1913 Inyo County, California, USA

IIAB

AMNH 2636

For Educators

Topic: Earth Science

Subtopic: Meteorites

Keywords: Meteorites, Astrophysics, Iron-nickel alloys, Mineralogy, Astrogeology, Crystals, Meteorites, Iron

Audience: General