Looking inside meteorites

  • Exhibition Text

    • The inside of a meteorite is often more beautiful and interesting than the outside. Here, the outside surfaces—visible on the larger masses of these two meteorites—are dark and dull. But the insides of these meteorites—visible on the thin slabs—can be polished to shine and reflect like mirrors.

      Meteorites are not cut into thin segments just to make them more beautiful, however. Scientists often remove small pieces of meteorites to distribute this rare research material among many laboratories, ensuring wide access to the samples. In addition, nearly all scientifically important characteristics can be seen best by cutting into meteorites.

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  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Meteorites

      Keywords: Meteorites, Astrophysics, Astrogeology, Astronomy--Research

      Audience: General

In This Section

Gibeon (AMNH 3752, AMNH 4379)

Gibeon (AMNH 3752, AMNH 4379)

The Nama people of Namibia, in southern Africa, at one time made weapons from iron they hammered off the Gibeon meteorite.



In 1907, while herding cattle in Colorado, two cowboys discovered this meteorite, a 309-kilogram (680-pound) iron mass.