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Murchison meteorite, Murchison, City of Greater Shepparton, Victoria, Australia

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 36° 37' South , 145° 12' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -36.61667,145.20000
Non-native locality type:Meteorite
Meteorite Class:CM2 chondrite meteorite
Meteoritical Society Class: CM2
Metbull:View entry in Meteoritical Bulletin Database
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate

Famous site where an important carbonaceous chondrite fell.

Class: CM2 Carbonaceous Chondrite.

Before noon on September 28, 1969 a fireball was seen which split into three pieces. In its wake a cloud of smoke was seen, tremors were heard, and — in time — over a 100 kg of scattered stones were recovered. Murchison has been classified as a CM2 (Mighei-like) Carbonaceous Chondrite. The CM2 Carbonaceous Chondrites are characterized by small chondrules, abundant matrix, hydrated minerals, and refractory inclusions. All recovered CM falls are of petrologic Type 2 which are further characterized by their Ni-bearing sulfides. Murchison is the largest of the 15 recovered CM falls — and its availability has led to a spate of discoveries.

Among the more prominent discoveries have been the first identification of naturally produced amino acids in meteorites and a number of small inclusions with presolar gases [Gases, identified by their wildly exotic isotopic compositions, formed in ancient stars which were later incorporated into the solar nebula].

Mineral List

37 valid minerals. 3 (TL) - type locality of valid minerals.

Meteorite/Rock Types Recorded

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Alphabetical List Tree Diagram

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Fuchs, L. H., Jensen, K.J., and Olsen, E. (1970) Mineralogy and Composition of the Murchison Meteorite. Meteoritics: 5(4): 198. (December 1970).
Kvenvolden, K., Lawless, J., Pering, K., Peterson, E., Flores, J., Ponnamperuma, C., Kaplan, I.R., and Moore, C. (1970) Evidence for Extraterrestrial Amino-acids and Hydrocarbons in the Murchison Meteorite. Nature: 228: 923-926.
MacPherson, G.J., Bar-Matthews, M., Tanaka, T., Olsen, E., and Grossman, L. (1983) Refractory inclusions in the Murchison meteorite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 47(4): 823-839.
Zinner, E., Tang, M., and Anders, E. (1989) Interstellar SiC in the Murchison and Murray meteorites: Isotopic composition of Ne, Xe, Si, C and N. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 53: 3273–3290.
Grady, M.M. (2000) Catalogue of Meteorites (5/e). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, Oakleigh, Madrid, Cape Town. 690 pages.
Stadermann, F.J., Croat, T.K., and Bernatowicz, T. (2004) NanoSIMS Determination of Carbon and Oxygen Isotopic Compositions of Presolar Graphites from the Murchison Meteorite. 35th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 15-19, 2004, League City, Texas, abstract No. 1758.
Stroud, R.M., Nittler, L.R., and Alexander, C.M.O'd. (2006) Supernova Nierite (α-Si3N4) from Murchison (pdf.#5360): Meteoritics & Planetary Science 41 (8, Supplement): page A168. (Aug 2006)
Ma, C., Beckett, J.R., and Rossman, G.R. (2010) Discovery of a new chromium sulfide mineral, Cr5S6, in Murchison. 73rd Annual Meteoritical Society Meeting, 2010.
Palmer, E.E. and Lauretta, D.S. (Oct 2011) Aqueous alteration of kamacite in CM chondrites: Meteoritics & Planetary Science: 46 (10): 1587-1607.
Fujiya, W., Sugiura, N., Takahata, N., and Hiyagon, H. (2011) In-situ chromium isotope measurement of chromium-rich fine grains in the Murchison CM2 chondrite. Geochemical Journal: 45: 275-281.
Inoue, M. Itoh, S., Yurimoto, H., Kimura, M., and Nakamura, N. (2012) A granular-olivine Clast with fractionated REE from the Murchison CM Chondrite: Evidence for alteration/metamorphism and melting on the CM parent asteroid. 75th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society. pdf#5099. [On Line]
Matzel, J.E.P., Simon, J.I., Hutcheon, I.D., Jacobsen, B., Simon, S.B., and Grossman, L. (2013) Oxygen Isotope Measurements of a Rare Murchison Type A CAI and its Rim. 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, held March 18-22, 2013 in The Woodlands, Texas. LPI Contribution No. 1719, p. 2632.
Lee, M.R., Lingren, P., and Sofe, M.R. (2014) Aragonite, breunnerite, calcite and dolomite in the CM carbonaceous chondrites: High fidelity recorders of progressive parent body aqueous alteration. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 144:126-156. (Nov 2014)

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