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Impactite Slab


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A while ago I sent an email to the Open University where Craig, Eddy, Dave and I went last year to ask if they had any Meteorites they no longer needed that we could beg to use at the school as part of a display. I had a nice reply saying that whilst they didn't have any Meteorites we could have they did have a nice cut slab of Impactite from Rochechouart in France.


The Rochechouart impact crater is a massive 23Km in dia and is one of five that were formed approx 201million years ago, and are thought to be responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs.


Today it arrived. It's a lovely piece weighing in at a whopping 364.5 grams. I took a picture of it next to a 50p coin for scale. Just need to get the display area set up now and get it out there :)



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That's interesting Mike...


Any ideas what the composition is, and is there any asteroid / meteor material in it?


Looks like harder material contained in a softer material that become molten on impact.....


Might even be more interesting than a piece of meteorite.


Nice one,


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The main part of it seems to be sandstone. There are as you say a number of harder rocks fused into it from the force of the impact. The chances are that there will be no meteorite actually in it, but I guess it can never be ruled out.


The composition of the rock is altered by the impact and forms crystal structures and all manner of strange things, it is a fascinating piece.


There's some interesting info here on Impactites: http://www.impact-structures.com/impact-rocks-impactites/

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  • 2 weeks later...

and more:












There are some interesting crystaline structures in there. I didn't have long to look to be honest and it's only at 400x magnification.

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Fair number of minerals and metals there Mike. 


Image 2 has an interesting structure at the edge. One of the silicates perhaps or is it actually metallic?


Photo 3 has a nice crystalline structure. 


You don't have access the any electron or xray spectroscopy kit do you?  

OK it's a long shot I know...  We had them in our research labs in a previous life.  

Could prove interesting.



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We have all manner of kit that nobody knows we have or how to use it so who knows :lol:


In #2 it does look metalic, but I intend having a better look with a proper microscope this week as I can't be sure with the USB one. There is loads to see in and on it. In one of the cavities there are some very interesting looking white(ish) crystals, I need to look at those more closely, although I don't know much about what I am actually looking at to be honest.

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