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Murray meteorite, Calloway Co., Kentucky, USA

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Classification: CM2 Carbonaceous Chondrite

On September 20, 1950, after a brilliant fireball was seen in the neighboring state of Illinois, the Murray meteoroid exploded at a high altitude and after a number of sonic booms were heard, several pieces of the meteorite were recovered some 15 kilometers east of Murray, Kentucky. The largest recovered fragment (3.4 kg) created a small 15 cm deep crater. Murray is the second largest of the 15 recovered CM (Mighei-like) Carbonaceous Chondrite falls (Total Mass - 12.6 kg). Over 400 CM stones have been recovered, but most of them are quite small. The five largest CM meteorites are all witnessed falls. A half century ago amino acids and other complex organic compounds were found in several extant CM2 meteorites. In the past two decades, interest in CM2 meteorites has quickened as tiny diamonds, corundum and other minerals appear to contain trapped gases which predate the beginnings of the solar nebula.

Murray and other carbonaceous chondrites share similar oxygen isotope ratios and have nearly solar Mg/Si ratios. In addition, the members of the CM chemical group are distinguished by small chondrules and inclusions, abundant fine-grained matrix (~70 vol%), and abundant hydrated minerals. The CM2 type are further characterized by their Ni-bearing sulfides.

Continuing concerns with Murray and other CM2 meteorites include: (1) Can we determine positively whether the hydrated minerals are preterrestrial? (2) Do exotic inclusions sample other bodies besides a putative CM parent body. (3) Do the minute particles/crystals of graphite, diamond, corundum, silicon carbide etc. tell us about the red giants, novae, and/or supernovae which supplied the heavier elements of the solar nebula.

The Meteoritical Society’s “Meteoritical Society Database” can lead interested parties to more information, references, and photographs.

Mineral List

34 entries listed. 26 valid minerals.

The above list 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.


Horan, John R. (1953). The Murray, Calloway County, Kentucky, Aerolite. Meteoritics: 1(1): 114-121. (May, 1953).

Ramdohr, Paul (1973). The Opaque Minerals in Stony Meteorites. Elsevier Publishing Company: Amsterdam; London: New York. 245 pages.

MacDougall, J. Douglas & B. K. Kothari (1976). Formation chronology for C2 meteorites. Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 33: 36-44. (November, 1976).

Phinney, D., MacDougall, J. D., & Whitehead, B. (1979). Magnesium Isotopes in Hibonite-Bearing Inclusions from CM Meteorites (Abstract). Lunar and Planetary Science X: 975-977.

Grady, M. M. (2000). Catalogue of Meteorites (5/e). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, New York, Oakleigh, Madrid, Cape Town. 690 pages.

Zinner, E., Amari, S., Guinness, R., Nguyen, A., Stadermann, F. J., Walker, R. M. & Lewis, R. S. (2003). Presolar spinel grains from the Murray and Murchison carbonaceous chondrites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 67(24) [special issue]: 5083-5095. (December, 2003).

Lee, M. R. & Ellen, R. (2008). Aragonite in the Murray (CM2) carbonaceous chondrite: Implications for parent body compaction and aqueous alteration. Meteoritics & Planetary Science: 43(7): 1219-1231. (October, 2008).

American Mineralogist (2009): 94: 1483–1486.

Huss, G. R., Meshik, A. P., Smith, J. B. & Hohenberg, C. M. (2003) Presolar diamond, silicon carbide, and graphite in carbonaceous chondrites: Implications for thermal processing in the solar nebula . Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 67 (24): 4823-4848. (Dec 2003)

Palmer, E.E. & Lauretta, D.S. (Oct 2011) Aqueous alteration of kamacite in CM chondrites: Meteoritics & Planetary Science: 46 (10): 1587-1607 (Oct 2011)

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