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Accretion Desk: A 100% Vein in a Gao Individual

like to make up term for describing meteorites such as F2F as in Find to Fall (when an meteorite listed as a find might actually be a fall; or a Toolbox meteorite where the particular specimen was used as a tool of some sort before moving to a higher status in life, and even Meteorites 2.0 describing the meteorite collecting world post-NWA.

In this installment of the Accretion Desk, through pictures I am highlighting what I call a 100% Vein. In this case, there is a layer of iron that completely occupies one a section of this Gao and is visible in 100% of the specimen.

As you can see in the pair of half-individuals above, the metal vein runs through the entire piece cutting across both cut faces. 


 The exterior of this pair of half-indivduals shows the 100% Vein highly visible across the entire great circle of fusion crust.


 The 100% Vein is not a surface feature only, but actually represents a nickel-iron disk dividing this individual in half.

Transitioning from crust to matrix, the 100% Vein is clearly visible as it transitions across this 90 degree boundary.

Little treasures like this Gao show us that even when the proliferation of a locality has relegated specimens carrying the same name as thousands of others, each one is an important contribution to science and collection enhancement. This 100% Vein is a precious treat of space geology and solar system evolution, and I’m thankful that someone somewhere thought it interesting enough to pursue further before I got ahold of it.


Until next time….


About the Author

Dr. Martin Horejsi is a Professor of Instructional Technology and Science Education at The University of Montana. A long-time meteorite collector and writer, before publishing his column The Accretion Desk in The Meteorite Times, he contributed often and wrote the column From The Strewnfields in Meteorite Magazine. Horejsi is currently a monthly columnist in The Science Teacher, a journal by the National Science Teachers Association.Horejsi specializes in the collection and study of historic witnessed fall meteorites with the older, smaller, and rarer the better. Although his meteorite collection once numbered over a thousand pieces with near that many different locations, several large trades and sales have streamlined the collection to about 250 locations with all but 10 being important witnessed falls.Many of the significant specimens in Horejsi's collection are historic witnessed falls that once occupied prominence in the meteorite collections of Robert A. Haag, James Schwade, and Michael Farmer. Other important specimens were acquired through institutional trades including those from The Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University, and other universities.