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Muonionalusta meteorite, Kitkiöjärvi, Pajala, Norrbotten, Sweden

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 67° 47' 60'' North , 23° 6' 0'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 67.80000,23.10000
Other regions containing this locality:Scandinavia
Non-native locality type:Meteorite
Meteorite Class:IVA iron meteorite
Meteoritical Society Class: Iron, IVA
Metbull:View entry in Meteoritical Bulletin Database
Köppen climate type:Dfc : Subarctic climate
Name(s) in local language(s):Muonionalustameteoriten

Iron meteorite, fine octahedrite (IVA,Of)
Found, 1906; 239 kg

In 1906 an iron-rich mass was found by a 10-year-old boy who tended cattle in the forest 3 km southwest of the village Kitkiöjärvi. 50 years later a larger 15 kg mass was recovered. Since then, additional specimens — including a 158 kg mass discovered in 2003 - have revealed a 25 x 15 km recovery ellipse in an Arctic region intersected by lakes and bogs. The description by Buchwald (1975) covering the first 3 masses (Muonionalusta I, II, and III) provides a broad overview of Muonionalusta's mineralogy. The original meteorite was a fine octahedrite which fragmented before reaching the earth's surface and has since been effected by the reworking of glacial ice of the last ice age. The major constituents — kamacite, taenite, troilite, schreibersite, and minor sulfides — are, of course, not unexpected in a IVA iron. The several associated weatherates (Akaganeite, Goethite, Lepidocrocite) offer an unusual opportunity to study the effects of long exposure to an unusual and extremely cold environment.

With the recovery of additional species new findings have been reported. One of the new pieces discovered in 2001 — a 9.575 kg fragment found at a depth of 25 cm only 20 m from the site of the first find — contains stishovite apparently created in a preterrestrial shock eons ago. A recent Pb-Pb date from Muonionalusta troilite of ~4.565 Ga suggest a very ancient formation age for the IVA parent asteroid.

Mineral List

13 valid minerals.

Meteorite/Rock Types Recorded

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This page contains all mineral locality references listed on 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 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.


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GFF 32, 482
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.
Krinov, E.L. (1961) Meteoritical Bulletin, no.20. Moscow.
Krinov, E.L. (1963) Meteoritical Bulletin, no.28. Moscow.
Buchwald, V. F. (1975) Handbook of Iron Meteorites. University of California Press. 1418 pp.
Graham, A. L., Bevan, A. W. R. & Hutchison, B. (1985) Catalogue of Meteorites (4/e). University of Arizona Press: Tucson.
Lagerbäck, R. & Wickman, F.E. (1997): A new iron meteorite from Muonionalusta, northernmost Sweden. GFF. 119, 193–198.
Holtstam, D., Broman, C., Söderhielm, J., Dan; Broman, C., Söderhielm, J. & Zetterqvist, A. (2003): First discovery of stishovite in an iron meteorite. Meteoritics & Planetary Science (Meteoritical Society). 38 (11): 1579–1583.
Blichert-Toft, J., Moynier, F., Lee, C.-T. & Albarede, F. (2010) Radiogenic Pb in Muonionalusta troilite and the Old Age of the IVA Asteroid :Lunar Planetary Science Conference XLI, LPI Contribution #1533, pdf.1127. (March 2010).

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