Meteorite Monday: Hoba Meteorite

Hoba- Image from Giraud Patrich (1)

The Hoba Meteorite represents the largest single piece of meteorite uncovered on the earth. Weighing in at 60 tons, it makes Oregon’s 15 ton Willamette meteorite seem amateur in comparison. This iron behemoth is classified as an ataxite- an iron meteorite whose nickel content in high enough to prevent development of the widmanstatten pattern. 

This meteorite landed on the earth about 80,000 years ago in what would become Namibia, and, due to it’s sheer weight, was never moved and can still be found where it landed. Unfortunately, this meant it was easy prey for vandals who hacked off pieces of it. The good news is that in 1955 the Namibian Government declared the area a national monument and built a visitors center in order to decrease vandalism (2). Now, in what has to be the coolest hands on science demo, people can touch and get a close up view of the worlds largest meteorite.

1. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Namibie_Hoba_Meteorite_03.JPG

2. http://www.namibian.org/travel/meteorites/hoba-meteorite.html

 

 

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