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Kelly meteorite, Logan Co., Colorado, USA

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Latitude & Longitude (WGS84): 40° 28' 0'' North , 103° 1' 59'' West
Latitude & Longitude (decimal): 40.46667,-103.03333
Non-native locality type:Meteorite
Meteorite Class:LL4 chondrite meteorite
Meteoritical Society Class: LL4
Metbull:View entry in Meteoritical Bulletin Database
Köppen climate type:BSk : Cold semi-arid (steppe) climate


Ordinary chondrite, brecciated & xenolithic (LL4,br; S3; W2)
Find,1937; 44.3 kg, single stone

A single mass was found with both chondritic and recrystallized textures set within an almost completely recrystallized matrix. Within the matrix host olivine (Fa27-32, av. 29) and orthopyroxene dominate along with minor albitic plagioclase. Chondrules include usually well-defined barred olivine (BO) types as well as more poorly defined relic porphyritic olivine (PO) types. Small blebs of Fe-Ni metal and troilite are scattered throughout the meteorite. Several additional minor and accessory opaques were observed by Ramdohr (1973). Different clasts have experienced different levels of shock (e.g., undulose extinction in many, but not all olivines). Low-level and moderate weathering is pervasive.

Kelly was one of the first meteorites to receive critical attention after the first moon rocks were returned by the Apollo astronauts. Its complex and pervasive brecciation structure were described as that of a 'metabreccia' in an oft-cited article by Bunch & Stöffler (1974). The parallels between the battered regolith features of lunar rocks and meteorites are not as startling today as they were four decades ago, but they remain complex and only partially explained.

The LL chondrites (very low in total iron) are the smallest group of ordinary chondrites (~10% of the classified witnessed falls) with the LL4 subgroup falls accounting for only 10% of all LL falls. Kelly's cosmic ray exposure (CRE) age of 13.6 Ma, similar to the ~15 Ma CRE ages of many other LL chondrites, may indicate a recent shared disruptive impact event for many LL chondrites.

Kelly itself is the 2nd most massive of the 300 meteorites and meteorite fragments classified exactly as 'LL4' chondrites at the Meteoritical Bulletin Database (in May 2016). Moderate-sized masses in the 1-5 kg range have been held by the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the United States National Museum (Washington, DC), Field Museum of Natural History in (Chicago), and Senckenberg-Museum (Frankfurt, Germany).

Mineral List

6 valid minerals.

Meteorite/Rock Types Recorded

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Mason, B. & Wiik, H.B. (1964) The amphoterites and meteorites of similar composition. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 28(4):533-538. (April 1964).
Ramdohr, P. (1973) The Opaque Minerals in Stony Meteorites. Elsevier Publishing Company: Amsterdam; London: New York. 245 pages.

Van Schmus, W.R. & Ribbe, P.H. (1968) The composition and structural state of feldspar from chondritic meteorites: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 32(12): 1327-1342. (Dec 1968).
Bunch, T.E. & Stöffler, D. (1974) The Kelly chondrite: A parent body surface metabreccia: Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology 44 (2): 157-171. (June 1974).

Graf, T. & Marti, K. (1994) Collisional records in LL-chondrites: Meteoritics 29(5): 643–648. (Sept 1994).

Grady, M.M (2000). Catalogue of Meteorites (5/e). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge; New York; Oakleigh; Madrid; Cape Town. 689 pages.

Grady, M.M., Pratesi, G. & Moggi-Cecchi, V. (2015) Atlas of Meteorites. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, United Kingdom. 373 pages.

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