Allende Meteorite


The Allende meteorite contains the oldest known matter on Earth with an age of 4.567 billion years. It was seen to fall as a fireball at 1:05 am on February 8th 1969 in the Mexican state of Chihuahua. Approximately 2 to 3 tons of material have since been collected over a strewn field of 8 by 50 km.

Allende is a rare type of meteorite (carbonaceous chondrite) containing calcium-aluminium inclusions (CAI’s). They are the white patches in the photographs and represent the first solids to condense from a cooling protoplanetary disc at the beginning of the formation of the solar system. They formed approximately 2 million years before the spherical chondrules. More information here.

Credits: OU CEPSAR/Colin Pillinger (top and bottom left); Diane Johnson (bottom right).

Labelled viewsRMS-LabelStill-Allende.html

View thin section

SEM views

Transmitted light
between crossed polars
Rotation point 1RMS-Rotation1-Allende.html
Transmitted light
plane polarised

Object movie

Reflected Light
Rotation point 2RMS-Rotation2-Allende.html
X-Ray mapsRMS-SEM-Allende1.html

11 cm across

Fragment of the Allende meteorite

collected soon after it landed

(and bottom right - a weathered example collected more recently)

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