Space Rock Mystery
Where Did the Fukang Meteorite Come From?
The Fukang Meteorite is the name given to a meteorite that was discovered in China. The Fukang Meteorite belongs to a class of stony-iron meteorite known as Pallasite, which may be recognized by the fragments of olivine crystals embedded in an iron-nickel matrix. According to one source, the stunning slices of such a meteorite, when illuminated from the back, are “reminiscent of stained glass windows crafted in the ancient solar system.”
Was the Fukang Meteorite Up For Sale?
Part of the Fukang Meteorite was recently sold at auction. In February 2021 Christie’s reports that it sold an “end wedge of the most beautiful extraterrestrial substance known.” Just that portion of the meteorite alone fetched a whopping 30,000 USD for the seller – well over the 3,500-4,500 USD estimate. So what makes the Fukang Meteorite so special?
For one thing, it’s not a “common meteorite.” Pallasites are an extremely rare type of meteorite. This is due to the fact that most Pallasites do not survive their descent through the Earth’s atmosphere. It has been estimated that less than 1 % of all meteorites are Pallasites. Therefore, the Fukang Meteorite has often been hailed as one of the greatest meteorite discoveries of the 21st century.
Out of this world, quite literally: The beautiful and mysterious Fukang meteorite. (Katexic Clippings Newsletter/ CC BY 2.0 )
Discovering the Meteorite
The Fukang Meteorite was discovered near the town of Fukang in Xinjiang, an autonomous region in the northwestern part of China. The meteorite was discovered in 2000 by an anonymous hiker. This hiker is said to have often stopped on a giant rock to have his lunch. He became curious about the type of rock, which seemed metallic and had crystals in it, that he had been resting on. The man decided to break some pieces of the rock off, and had them send to the United States, where it was confirmed that the sample he had sent was from a meteorite.
Fascinating! Thank you!😊