Classification: Ordinary Chondrite L3
Explainer: This means that the sample is from an asteroid parent body. It represents early Solar System material which includes chondrules (small round melt droplets). It is from a very common type of chondrule-bearing meteorite called the ordinary chondrite class. This particular type is an ‘L’ type – meaning it has low concentrations of iron (i.e. iron metal). The meteorite is also a type 3 sample – which means that it is pretty pristine and unmodified in terms of thermal or aqueous metamorphism. You can see more about where this sample fits into the meteorite classification scheme by looking at this page.
Description: Taken from the Meteoritical Bulletin for OUT 18016
History: The meteorite was recovered as part of the Lost Meteorites of Antarctica project, which was funded in the UK by the Leverhulme Trust and supported by the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Manchester. These samples were collected as part of the project’s first field season in austral summer December 2018 – January 2019 by a two person field party consisting of Katherine Joy and Julie Baum. Found on blue ice surface at Outer Recovery Icefields ice field 3 (west icefield). Altitude 1410 m.
Physical characteristics: Mass: 9.5 g. Pieces: 1. Dimensions: 3 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm. A round, part stone with 70% fusion crust and black exterior.
Petrography: Abundant well-defined chondrules (up to 1 mm in diameter), chondrule fragments and mineral grains in a fine-grained matrix. Low abundance of metal and sulfide. Olivine and pyroxene compositions suggest that it is subtype 3.5 – 3.8.
Mineral compositions and geochemistry: All analyses by EPMA. Olivine Fa 21.8±6.2 (N=25), Pyroxene Fs 9.5±6.1 (N=14), Wo 0.7±0.5 (N=14).
Specimens: 9.26 g type specimen (main mass) held at the NHM London.
Project comments: This is a small but interesting meteorite representing a type 3 L chondrite. It had a nice fusion crust with flow lines, preserving information about the orientation it entered Earth’s atmosphere.
Sample images and videos: