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Meteorite Identification Page

Page 5

3 ) Does it have a rusty brown, to black fusion crust?

When meteorites are relatively fresh they often have a thin black crust of melted rock, or with iron meteorites a bluish black crust. This crust is usually very thin, only a few millimeters in thickness, but it is distinct enough to aid in identification. Unless very weathered, almost all meteorites will have traces of fusion crust, which is distinctly different from the interior matrix.


Campos Sales, L-5 (stone), 571 grams. Notice the dark smooth fusion crust, and lighter chalky interior matrix that is speckled with rust spots.


Campos Sales, Brazil, L-5, (stone) 960 grams. Notice the exceptional black fusion crust and thumbprints on this very fine specimen. The light patches are where the fusion crust was broken on impact, thus revealing this meteorite's light gray chalky stone interior. The broken surfaces are speckled with rust spots where atmospheric moisture has caused the malleable iron grains to discolor an otherwise mostly light gray matrix. This specimen was picked up very shortly after falling to earth on Jan. 31st, 1991 and is typical of most freshly fallen meteorites.