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Serra Pelada Eucrite

On the morning of June 29, 2017 the Serra Pelada meteorite arrived in a gold mining area of Amazonia with a fireball, smoke train, “detonations” and dust. A mass of about 6kg broke apart near a village school and was quickly scooped up and distributed among locals. About 4km east an electrician at a mining company site saw a similar size stone fall. Word spread on local media and collectors appeared.

A local geologist sent a sample to Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro where classification work was done. Maria E. Zucolotto was the senior editor of the resultant report. More recently Dra. Zucolotto wrote a firsthand account of the fire that destroyed the museum in September 2018. That article is published in the March 1, 2019 issue of Meteorite Times.

Serra Pelada is a brecciated monomict eucrite. Here are photos of features mentioned in the Serra Pelada report, as we see them, and one clast type that was not mentioned.

 

 

Thin section sample, one of four used here, is 20mm wide. Fusion crust on left edge abuts clastic medium grained matrix that extends about 1/4 the width of the sample. Its right boundary with clastic fine grained matrix is somewhat angular. Below we will see closer views of the dark clast at bottom center and the larger dark clast with white laths further right. The small silver mottled clast on the top edge right of center is the final object we’ll view. Partially cross-polarized light (PXPL).

 

Fusion crust with gas bubbles and transported mineral grains over a heat affected zone of the underlying clastic medium grained matrix. PXPL

 

 

Clastic medium grained matrix. Field of view is 3mm wide. Cross-polarized light (XPL).

 

 

Clastic fine grained matrix. FOV 3mm XPL.

 

 

Very fine grained subophitic clast. FOV 3mm XPL.

 

 

Coarse grained subophitic clast. FOV 3mm XPL.

 

 

Very coarse grained clast. FOV 3mm XPL.

 

 

Circular fine grained clast, possibly melt rock. FOV 3mm XPL.

 

 

Dark clast. FOV 3mm XPL.

 

 

Dark clast. FOV 3mm XPL.

 

 

Mineral grain with shock induced planar fractures in three directions. Notice that several grain edges align with the fractures. FOV=0.9mm Plane polarized light (PPL).

 

 

Mineral grain with shock induced planar fractures in four directions. Notice that several grain edges align with the fractures. FOV=0.9mm PPL.

 

 

This distinctly patterned, uneven progression of optical extinction—as cross polarizing filters are rotated—indicate shock mosaicism in this mineral grain.

 

 

Exsolution lamellae in pyroxene. FOV=0.9mm PPL.

 

 

Exsolution lamellae in pyroxene. FOV=0.3mm PPL.

 

 

Clast of spherulitic plagioclase. This lithology was not noted by Zucolotto et al. FOV=0.9mm PXPL.

 

 

Same clast of spherulitic plagioclase as above. FOV=0.9mm XPL.

 

 

Clast of spherulitic plagioclase. FOV=0.9mm PXPL.

 

 

Same clast of spherulitic plagioclase as above. FOV=0.9mm XPL.
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