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Youndegin meteorite, Quairading Shire, Western Australia, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 32° 6' South , 117° 43' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -32.1, 117.716666667


Iron meteorite, Octahedrite (IAB-MG, Og)
Found 1884, 3.8 tons

Alfred Eaton, a mounted policeman, found the initial four pieces from the meteorite shower, on 05 January 1884. The material was found 1.3 kilometres north-west of Pikaring Hill, near the present day town of Quairading, east of Perth.

One piece weighing 11.7kg was examined by government geologist Edward Hardman, who identified it as the first ever meteorite recorded from Western Australia. The other three pieces were 10.9, 7.9 and 2.72kg. The meteorite material was deposited in the fledgling Western Australian geological museum, which was the precursor of today's Western Australian Museum.

Two of the pieces were sent to the British Museum of Natural History, separately in November 1884, and July 1885. In return, the colony sought examples of authenticated metallic ores, to help prospectors in Western Australia identify their finds.

Eighty four specimens were sent, still held by the Western Australian Museum, mainly from localities in Europe and to a lesser extent British colonies. It was to be known as the Fletcher Collection, after Lazarus Fletcher, secretary of the Mineralogical Society in London, who sent them.

Over ensuing decades several other large pieces were found within a radius of ~20 km including three fragments which were initially treated as separate meteorites (Mooranoppin, Mount Sterling, Quairading). A much larger 2,626 kg mass was found about 20 years later and eventually acquired by the British Museum of Natural History.

While the meteorite is frequently seriously corroded, some specimens are much more intact than others. These relatively intact specimens make it clear that Youndegin is a typical IAB iron, compositionally dominated by octahedral kamacite. Taenite and plessite occupy less than 5 vol% of the meteorite. Troilite, schreibersite, and graphite appear to be the most important of several accessory phases. Both Cliftonite, a graphite polymorph and the mineral Roaldite, an Fe-Ni nitride, were first discovered in Youndegin.

Youndegin is the 5th most massive member of major IAB subgroup, the 'IAB main group' which includes both Campo del Cielo and Canyon Diablo irons with listed masses of 50 and 30 tons, respectively.

In addition to the masses in London and Australia, masses >100 kg are found in Vienna and Chicago with various additional smaller specimens elsewhere in the world.

Mineral List


10 valid minerals. 1 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

The above list contains all mineral locality references listed on mindat.org. This does not claim to be a complete list. If you know of more minerals from this site, please register so you can add to our database. This locality information is for reference purposes only. You should never attempt to visit any sites listed in mindat.org without first ensuring that you have the permission of the land and/or mineral rights holders for access and that you are aware of all safety precautions necessary.

References

Fletcher (1887) On a Meteoric Iron found in 1884 in the Sub-district of Youndegin, Western Australia, and containingCliftonite, a cubic form of Graphitic Carbon, Mineralogical Magazine 7 (34): 121-130 . (July1887)
Prior, G. T. (1923) Catalogue of Meteorites: with special reference to those represented in the collection of the British Museum of Natural History. Richard Clay & Sons, Limited: Bungay, Suffolk.
DeLaeter, J. R. (1973) The Youndegin Meteorite: Meteoritics 8(2): 169-179. (June 1973)
Buchwald, V. F. (1975) Handbook of Iron Meteorites. University of California Press. 1418 pages.
Nielsen, H. P. & Buchwald, V. F. (1982) Roaldite, a new nitride in iron meteorites In: Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Proceedings XII. pp. 1343-1348. New York and Oxford, Pergamon Press
Grady, M. M. (2000) Catalogue of Meteorites (5/e). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, Oakleigh, Madrid, Cape Town. 690 pages.
Downes, P.J., Bevan, A.W.R., Deacon, G.L.(2011): The Fletcher Collection of Minerals at the Western Australian Museum - a late 19th century gem, Australian Journal of Mineralogy (2011):16(1): 3-14

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