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IVB Iron Meteorites

 

Description: The members of this small group of iron meteorites are extraordinarily nickel-rich, and consequently, all IVB iron meteorites belong to the structural class of the ataxites. However, if viewed under magnification, it becomes more than obvious that the IVB irons have a plessitic composition and represent a microscopic intergrowth of kamacite and taenite. Inclusions are rare and silicates are virtually absent.

 

Formation history & Origin: The IVB iron meteorites display low values for the trace elements gallium and germanium, consistent with the supposed formation of the IVB irons in the core of a small, differentiated asteroid.

 

Members: The IVB group of iron meteorites consists of just 13 members. Famous IVB irons include Hoba, the largest meteorite ever found on Earth, and Cape of Good Hope, both of these representing South African finds. Parts of the latter iron were removed and forged before 1811, and one piece was forged into a legendary sword that was presented to Czar Alexander I, the Russian Emperor.

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