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Carthage meteorite, Carthage, Smith Co., Tennessee, USA

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Iron meteorite, Octahedrite (IIIAB, Om)
Find, 1840; 127 kg

An Fe-Ni metal-rich mass was found near Carthage, the county seat of Smith County. Believed to be silver it came into the hands of a local blacksmith with much, if not all, of the mass being forged and hammered at 700- 800° C. The original oblong (40 x 30 x 25 cm) mass was quite weathered, but the overall character of the meteorite has been unusually well characterized by Buchwald (1975). Kamacite has been shock hardened by preterrestrial impacts with a well-preserved Widmanstätten framework accompanied by taenite and plessite (~30 vol%). Schreibersite is present mostly as rosettes and boundary precipitates. Troilite, sometimes twinned, is present mostly as nodules with schreibersite rims. Quite minor amounts of daubréelite and chromite have also been preserved. After eons in space (K-Ar ages > 3.6 Ga) , the meteorite mass entered the earth's atmosphere. Whatever fusion crust it acquired during its atmospheric passage was weathered away and limonite cracks gradually penetrated its interior — mostly along its octahedral plates. Human activity then came into play with some sectioning along those weathered plates.

As of late 2014 Carthage was the 9th of the 299 IIIAB irons to be recovered, but only the 54th largest in terms of its mass. More than half of the meteorite has been preserved at Universität Tübingen in Germany (69 kg) with other large components in London (24.6 kg) and Harvard (10 kg).

Mineral List

9 entries listed. 6 valid minerals.

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Farrington, O. C. (1915)Meteorites: Their Structure, Composition, and Terrestrial Relations. The Lakeside Press, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company: Chicago.

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

Buchwald, V. F. (1975) Handbook of Iron Meteorites. University of California Press. 1418 pages.

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

Giscard, M. D., Hammond, S. J., Bland, P. A., Benedix, G. K., Rogers, N. W., Russell, S. S., Genge, M. J. & Rehkämper, M. (2012) Trace Element Composition of Metal and Sulphides in Iron Meteorites Determined Using ICP-MS: 75th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society. Published in Meteoritics and Planetary Science Supplement, id.5263 [ONLINE]. (September 2012)

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