An Article In Meteorite-Times Magazine
by Tom Phillips and Martin Horejsi

Iron Flecks in Ordinary Chondrites

As new meteorite collectors, the first thing we look for in a cut meteorite is the iron flecks, the more the better!

These are examples of the iron flecks I have viewed in various ordinary chondrites. This is a mix of material (mostly unclassified) and magnification. One thing in common is all micrographs were taken in incident (reflected) light of highly polished meteorite slices. Note: These are not utilizing thin sections, these are all thick slices and mostly hand sample size.

I see evidence of melting, shock and who knows what, but also, this is a pet theory of mine, micro bits of iron with Widmanstatten pattern. A pattern that lies within the shock structure of the iron flecks. I think they are just missed with primary observation techniques. Let me explain. This iron is to small to etch with acid (it would destroy small flecks) and thin section examination in transmitted light would not reveal any iron details. Microprobe examination is not optical and as such would not detect such features as Widmanstatten Pattern.

I use polarizers to bring out the pattern structure. I can enhance the differences in the reflective properties of sections within a very small piece of iron.

Look at the images and see if you can spot some that appear to have Widmanstatten pattern. Feel free to email me with observations.

Tom Phillips can be reached by email at:

Meteorite Photos and Images
The Tom Phillips Microscopic Meteorite Photography and Gallery