UNM Meteorite Museum

On a trip to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2002, I visited the meteorite museum at the University of New Mexico and photographed a few of these rocks that have fallen from space. The museum is organized by the three main types of meteorite: Stony, Iron, and Stony-Iron. In the caption for each photo, I give the name of the meteorite, the location where it was found, and some information copied from the display card.

The museum is located in Northrop Hall on the UNM campus.

This "Meteorites of New Mexico" display shows where different specimens have been recovered within the state.

Stony Meteorites

Norton County (Kansas) (right foreground) - Achondrite (a type of stony meteorite with no chondrules, or spherical inclusions). This is the 2nd largest stone meteorite ever found on earth.

Pasamonte (New Mexico) - An achondrite with a fusion crust (glassy surface material that was melted during atmospheric entry).

Dar Al Gani (Libyan Desert) - This meteorite originally came from the planet Mars.

Iron Meteorites

Sikhoth Alin (USSR) - Hexahedrite (type of iron meteorite with low nickel content, apparently structureless).

Navaho (Apache City, Arizona) - Octahedrite (type of iron meteorite with medium nickel content). This is 1/2 of the original meteorite, which weighed 1600 lbs.

Tres Casillos (Mexico) - Octahedrite (note the Widmanstatten pattern of the iron-nickel crystals due to slow cooling in space).

Wolf Creek (Australia) - Shale ball (completely oxidized iron fragment).

Stony-Iron Meteorites

Marjalaht (USSR) - Pallasite (type of stony-iron meteorite having a mixture of iron-nickel metal and the stony mineral olivine).

Brenham (Kansas) - Pallasite (note olivine crystal in metal matrix).

All photos taken using Kodak Ektachrome E200 professional slide film with Olympus OM-1 35mm camera on fixed tripod, scanned with Nikon Coolscan LS-10E.

The meteorite museum is run by the Institute of Meteoritics in UNM's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. Admission is currently by advance arrangement only; call (505) 277-1644 to make an appointment. More information may be found at the museum web page.

Revised: April 24, 2006
Copyright © 2003 Joe Orman
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