The Fukang Meteorite basically looks like it’s straight out of an Avengers movie. Or maybe Guardians of the Galaxy. Either way, it looks absolutely out of this world. Which, obviously, it is.
Discovery Of The Fukang Meteorite
In 2000 near Fukang, China, a hiker discovered a 1,003 kilogram (2,211 lbs) meteorite. Now it’s the most famous and expensive meteorite known to man.
He had seen the giant rock before on his hikes. He’d been curious about its gems and metals that seemed to be poking through. Because of this, he decided to chip off some parts of the rock and have them inspected.
Named the ‘Fukang meteorite‘, it was identified as a pallasite. This means it’s a type of stony–iron meteorite, with striking olivine (green) crystals throughout. Pallasites are extremely rare even among meteorites (only about 1% of all meteorites are this type). Fukang has been hailed as one of the greatest meteorite discoveries of the 21st century.
It’s a breathtakingly beautiful, mesmerizing meteorite. It’s very likely the most captivating extraterrestrial rock man has ever seen.
The Fukang pallasite is believed to originate from deep inside intact meteors. These were created during the formation of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago. Very few specimens are thought to have survived their descent through Earth’s atmosphere.
Like many meteorites, the Fukang Meteorite takes its name from the location where it landed.
How Big Was The Original Meteorite?
The original meteorite weighed just over a thousand kilograms. They divided it up into slabs which revealed its breathtaking beauty. Once the world saw this, everyone wanted a piece. It’s since been divided into dozens of thin slices and auctioned or distributed around the world.
At the University of Arizona, you’ll find over thirty kilograms of specimen. Marvin Kilgore of the University of Arizona’s Southwest Meteorite Centre holds the largest portion weighing at 420 Kg.
In 2008, experts expected this piece below to fetch a whopping $2 million at auction in New York. Unfortunately, the prospective bidders decided not to purchase it, and opted for some fossilized dinosaur dung instead.
What Gives Pallasite Its Distinctive Look?
Pallasite is a type of meteorite with translucent, golden crystals of olivine, a mineral found in rocks. A silvery honeycomb of nickel-iron holds these dazzling colours and contrasts them so incredibly. It looks like a movie prop.
50 per cent olivine and peridot crystals and 50 cent nickel-iron make up pallasites. Scientists and researchers believe them to be the relics of forming planets. How cool is that?
They are also extremely rare, making up less than one per cent of meteorites. Pallasites may originate from deep inside already-intact meteors created during the formation of the solar system about 4.5 billion years ago.
Pieces of the meteor are extremely expensive because very few specimens have survived their descent through Earth’s atmosphere.
Can I Buy A Piece Of The Fukang Meteorite?
The Fukang Meteorite is so dazzling and valuable that even tiny little chunks sell for 20-30 pounds per gram.
If you’re into your space souvenirs enough to cough up that kind of cash, you can go here to see buying options. Do be careful when you’re considering purchasing a piece of this space rock.
As with anything, buy from reputable sources, make sure you do your research beforehand, and try to use cards not cash so you have some insurance!