Taza [NWA 859]
(Northwest Africa) Opl (iron)
Whilst many thousands of new stony meteorites are being recovered from the hot desert regions of the World, new iron meteorite discoveries have proved to be very few and far between. One possible explanation for this might be due to the higher density of iron meteorites, causing the masses to remain hidden at greater depths in the continually shifting desert sands, with only a relatively small percentage of these irons being exposed by the action of the wind. Taza is one of just a small handful of iron meteorites that have come out of the deserts in recent years, and for that reason alone it's unusual - but, Taza has also been classified as a particularly rare type of anomalous plessitic iron meteorite that doesn't slot nicely into any current iron group.
The high nickel content (16.3%) in Taza enables the growth of fine, pointed kamacite spindles and a Widmanstatten bandwidth of just 0.15mm. Taza has been the familiar "dealers' name" for this plessite octahedrite, which is now more formally known by its official title of NWA 859.
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