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Mässing meteorite, Massing, Lower Bavaria, Bavaria, Germany

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 48° 22' 59'' North , 12° 36' 0'' East
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 48.38333,12.60000
Non-native locality type:Meteorite
Meteorite Class:Howardite meteorite
Meteoritical Society Class: Howardite
Metbull:View entry in Meteoritical Bulletin Database
Köppen climate type:Cfb : Temperate oceanic climate
Name(s) in local language(s):Meteorit von Mässing, Massing, Niederbayern, Bayern, Deutschland

Howardite (achondrite)
Fell 13 Dec 1803, 1.6 kg

Before noon a loud cannon-like roll of ten or so detonations were heard. It was followed by a whirring sound before a small stone penetrated the tiles of a shed. Soon found was the still warm stone with the reek of powder. Only ~60 grams are now preserved, partly because many chemical-mineralogical assays of the 19th century involved destructive analysis. Mässing is now classified as a Howardite and is one of the only 16 Howardite falls witnessed between 1803 and 1994. With so little of Mässing's mass remaining, current research on Mässing has been quite sparse. Pyroxenes, chromite, and troilite were noted in the 19th Century. With more modern techniques but less material to work with, Mason observed both compositionally variable pyroxenes (mostly orthopyroxene) and variable plagioclase.

Howardites are essentially mixtures, often highly brecciated, of Eucritic materials (dominated by plagioclase-pyroxene intergrowths) and Diogenitic materials (dominated by orthopyroxene). They also contain occasional exotic clasts apparently derived from impacts with other meteorites and comets, esp. Carbonaceous Chondrites. It is believed that almost all Howardites, Eucrites, and Diogenites (HED meteorites) are fragments of the asteroid 4 Vesta. However, some 'look-alike' HED meteorites with anomalous oxygen isotopes and Fe/Mn ratios make it clear that not all HED meteorites are from the same parent body. Definitive determinations for the parent body/bodies of specific HED meteorites is still somewhat in the future.

Note: While the meteorite is known as Mässing meteorite, the present name of the town next to which it fell is Massing.

Mineral List

5 valid minerals.

Meteorite/Rock Types Recorded

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Tschermak, G. (1884,1885). Die Mikroskopische Beschaffenheit Der Meteoriten. Schweizerbart'sche Verhandlung: Stuttgart.

McSween, H. Y. Jr. & 11 others (1913). Dawn, the Vesta-HED connection; and the Geological context for eucrites, diogenites, and howardites. Meteoritics & Planetary Science: 48(13): 2090-2104. (Nov 2013)

Tschermak, G. (1964). The Microscopic Properties of Meteorites (Die Mikroskopische Beschaffenheit Der Meteoriten). Wood, JA & Wood, EM, translators. Smithson. Contrib. Astrophysics. Vol. 4, #6. Smithsonian Institution: Washington. 239 pages.

Mason, B. (1967) The Bununu meteorite, and a discussion of the pyroxene-plagioclase achondrites: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 31(2): 107-115.

Mason B., Jarosewich E. & Nelen J. A. (1979) The pyroxene-plagioclase achondrites. Smithsonian Contributions to the Earth Sciences: 22: 27-45.

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

Scott, E.R.D., Greenwood, R.C., Franchi, I.A. & Sanders, I.S. (2009) Oxygen isotopic constraints on the origin and parent bodies of eucrites, diogenites, and howardites. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta: 73(19): 5835-5853. (Oct 2009)

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