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Neptune Mountains meteorite, Neptune Mountains, Pensacola Mts, Coats Land, Eastern Antarctica, Antarctica

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 83° 15' South , 55° 0' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): -83.25000,-55.00000
Other regions containing this locality:Antarctic Meteorites
Non-native locality type:Meteorite
Meteorite Class:IAB complex iron meteorite
Meteoritical Society Class: Iron, IAB complex
Metbull:View entry in Meteoritical Bulletin Database
Köppen climate type:EF : Ice cap climate


Iron meteorite, coarsest octahedrite (IAB,Ogg)
Find, 1964; 1.07 kg

The Neptune Mountains iron meteorite (7.0-7.4%Ni; ~0.5 %Co) was the fourth meteorite to be recovered from Antarctica. At the time it was noted that the meteorite had probably had been glacially transported. It was found on a rock outcrop about 30 m above the ice base of nunatake by members of an U. S. Antarctic research expedition. Neptune Mountains Fe-Ni metal is almost entirely kamacite [taenite-and-plessite ~3 vol%]. Neumann bands and martensite are indicative of significant preterrestrial shock. While schreibersite is prominent, troilite and other accessory minerals [if present] have not been studied in any detail in the more accessible literature. While Buchwald (1975) reported that the meteorite was surprisingly intact upon his initial studies, later studies (1989) revealed several varied instances of chemical corrosion. Neptune Mountains' terrestrial exposure age (~110 ka) was one of the early indications that some Antarctic meteorites have lain on or underneath the ice for enormous periods of time. Under the current classification scheme Neptune Mountains is listed in the very large IAB complex of iron meteorites.

A few years after the discovery of Neptune Mountains Japanese scientists somewhat unexpectedly discovered nine more meteorites on the ice within a very small area. Since then, of course, a virtual eventual flood of Antarctic meteorites have been recovered.

What's in a name? Neptune Mountains seems to be a very appropriate name for a meteorite recovered from such an unusually cold and desolate location. As meteorites are almost always named after terrestrial landmarks, very few meteorites are given 'planetary' names but a few are known (e.g., Venus and Marsland from the United States and Nuevo Mercurio from Mexico).

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7 valid minerals.

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References

Krinov, E. L. - Editor (1965) The Meteoritical Bulletin, No. 34. Moscow: USSR. (Nov 1965).

Buchwald, V. F. (1975). Handbook of Iron Meteorites: Their History, Distribution, Composition and Structure, Vol.3. Univ. of California Press: Berkley. 1418 pages.

Sears, D. (1979) Meteorites recently discovered in Antarctica may date from the earliest days of the solar system. New Scientist. pp. 959-961. (22 Mar 1979).

Graham, A. L., Bevan, A. W. R. & Hutchison, B. (1985) Catalogue of Meteorites (4/e). University of Arizona Press: Tucson.

Buchwald, V. & Clark Jr, R.S. (1989) Corrosion of Fe-Ni alloys by Cl-containing akaganéite (β-FeOOH): The Antarctic meteorite case. American Mineralogist 74(5&6):656-667. (May-June1989).

Jarosewich, E. (1990) Chemical analyses of meteorites - A compilation of stony and iron meteorite analyses. Meteoritics 25(4): 323-337. (Dec. 1990).

Wasson, J.T & Kallemeyn, G. W. (2002) The IAB iron-meteorite complex: A group, five subgroups, numerous grouplets, closely related, mainly formed by crystal segregation in rapidly cooling melts. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Volume 66, Issue 13, p. 2445-2473. (July 2002)

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