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Looking Inside Meteorites

Part of Hall of Meteorites.


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 c