Iron meteorite main content.

Iron meteorite

Iron meteorite in the Hall of Planet Earth AMNH/D. Finnin

Exhibition Text

Toluca (IAB), found in Mexico, 1776

This iron meteorite was once the core of a planetesimal. As the meteorite cooled, two different iron-nickel alloys separated, forming alternating bands on the meteorite’s polished surface. This pattern is known as a Widmanstätten structure.

Core Knowledge

Earth’s core is too deep to observe directly, but iron-nickel meteorites that were the cores of ancient planetary bodies hint at its composition. But a core made only of iron and nickel would have more mass than observed, so Earth’s core must also contain one or more light elements. These have yet to be identified.

Collection Information

AMNH Collections 809