OUT 18021

Classification: Ordinary Chondrite L6

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 6 sample – which means that it has been highly metamorphosed (heated and/or held under high pressure). 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 18021

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 snow at Outer Recovery Icefield. Altitude 1516 m.

Physical characteristics: Mass: 2460 g. Pieces: 1. Dimensions: 19 cm x 12 cm x 10 cm. A round, whole stone with 75% black fusion crust and light grey interior.

Petrography: Equilibrated texture with poorly defined chondrules (up to 1 mm in diameter). Metal and sulfide distributed throughout.

Mineral compositions and geochemistry: All analyses by EPMA. Olivine Fa 25.3±0.5 (N=11), Pyroxene Fs 21.2±0.5 (N=10), Wo 1.5±0.3 (N=10).

Specimens: 2460 g type specimen (main mass) held at the NHM London.



Project comments: The largest sample of season 1! The icefield we were searching had been covered by recent snowfall and we had had a really unproductive day of searching. The meteorite was found right at the end of the day spotted sitting against a snowy surface towards the edge of the ice field. When we returned to the same icefield the following season and there was no snow cover we successfully recovered several more samples showing that snow cover is critical in meteorite spotting success.



Sample images and videos:

OUT 18021 sample in the lab after defrosting. Image: Lost Meteorites of Antarctica / The University of Manchester
OUT 18002 sample in the lab after defrosting. Image: Lost Meteorites of Antarctica / The University of Manchester
OUT 18021 sample in the field. Image: Lost Meteorites of Antarctica / The University of Manchester
OUT 18021 sample in the field. Image: Lost Meteorites of Antarctica / The University of Manchester
Julie holding up bagged sample OUT 18021 in the field. Image: Lost Meteorites of Antarctica / The University of Manchester
Approaching OUT 18021 in the field. Katherine Joy / The University of Manchester
3-D model of OUT 18021 meteorite produced by photogrammetry (Harvey et al., LPSC, 2020). Video: Thomas Harvey / Lost Meteorites of Antarctica / The University of Manchester