Part of Hall of Meteorites.

A.3.2. Stones. Melted or unmelted hero

Melted or unmelted

Stony meteorites fall into two main groups: those that partially melted while they were in space, and those that did not melt.

Unmelted stony meteorites, the more common type that includes Estacado, are the oldest rocks formed in our solar system. These ancient stones offer a record of the solar system in its infancy.

Partially melted stony meteorites, the rarer type, show that when planets and asteroids melted, they separated into metal and stony parts.

The stuff that stars are made of

Stars and their planets form in large clouds of gas and dust like the Orion nebula shown here. The oldest meteorites contain material from the nebula in which our solar system formed some 4.6 billion years ago.