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Chulafinnee (Alabama, USA) IIIA (iron) Found 1873

An historical iron meteorite with a low total known weight and a peculiarity.

A mass of about 16Kg was ploughed up by a farmer in Alabama in 1873. Analysis showed a curious alteration to the Widmanstatten figures which showed that the iron had been subjected to artificial heating at some time during its terrestrial age, prior to being recognised as a meteorite. The artificial heating couldn't have been just a gentle warming either... it had been high, in the order of 800C/1472F, and applied for a very long period of time that was long enough to penetrate deep within the iron mass! This 800C mark is about the temperature where an iron octahedrite will completely lose its Widmanstatten figures.

Chulafinnee is a medium octahedrite - the Widmanstatten figures are still just about visible, though artificial heating has caused partial recrystallization and a granular appearance to the etched face.



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