Allende - ROM2008_10208_1



Place Collected
North America, Mexico, Chihuahua, Pueblito De Allende, 26°58'N, 105°19'W
Weight: 868 g; 6 x 12 x 8.5 cm
Object number: ROMESM29167
On view
Gallery Location:Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth's Treasures
DescriptionThe Allende is one of the most studied of meteorites. It contains a wealth of information about the early Solar System. Many of the light-grey spots you see in its surface are called calcium-aluminum inclusions, or CAI's. These aggregates of microscopic crystals may well be the oldest known solids, having crystallized over 4.5 billion years ago at the dawn of our Solar System. The Allende also contains chondrules: small rounded aggregates of minerals, primarily silicates, that appear to have crystallized from molten droplets, and which are also very old. But what is especially interesting about this meteorite is that it is carbonaceous, containing carbon, much of it as a complex mixture of organic compounds, including a few we find on Earth. These aspects of the Allende are clues to the earliest history of our Solar System, and perhaps even to life itself.
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