Muonionalusta Meteorites

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Some 800.000 years ago, a massive extraterrestrial iron mass fell from the sky in what is now the northernmost part of Sweden. A huge explosion must have fractured the meteorite on entering the earths atmosphere and successively the remaining pieces scattered on a fairly large strewnfield in the northern Taiga.

Scandinavia saw its fair share of glaciations through the ages, thick and heavy ice shields repeatedly expanded from north so south as the earths climate alternated between colder and warmer periods, thus altering the regular pattern of the strewnfield. Possibly the whole strewnfield was moved along.

It was not until 1906 that children found an exceptionally heavy and rusty ´stone´ near the small village Kitkiöjärvi. They took it home and somehow it found its way to scientists who could reveal its true nature. The new meteorite was named Muonionalusta after a town in the vicinity. In 1946 and 1963 two more meteorites were found. The first (15 kg) was discovered during the earthwork at a building site in Kitkiöjoki, an other small village southeast of Kitkiöjärvi. The second meteorite was found in excavated material used for the construction of a causeway near Kitkiöjoki, too.

After that, many years passed without any new finds. Only recently various expeditions unearthed new meteorites in the area. As the strewnfield is located north of the arctic circle, searching for meteorites there is restricted by certain factors, e.g. for the most part of the year cold winter rules, the short summer is filled with uncounted aggressive mosquitos, periods of rain lasting weeks, demanding terrain, far away from supplies, bears… However, although searching for meteorites with a metal detector in the cold and pouring rain or in the occasional heat, being bitten by loads of mosquitos may not be a too pleasant experience, nature makes up for everything. It is still wilderness, not untouched by humans, but the forest is huge, lakes abound, we stayed deep in the forest for weeks without seeing anybody. Expedition camp life.

As the area where there are possibly meteorites hidden deep in the ground is, unlike other regular strewnfields, not defined in size nor shape, Muonionalusta meteorites can be encountered in an area as big as 40 x 20km.

The meteorites found were classified as iron meteorites, fine octahedrite classe IVA. The Muonionalusta meteorites are among the meteorites with the most beautiful etch pattern. Cut and etched, the interior reveals perfect Widmannstätten pattern and sometimes inclusions like Troilite. The exterior, when untreated, resembles a rusty bark. Interestingly some Muonionalusta meteorites are very weathered, whereas others are in really good shape for their high terrestrial age of 800.000 years, displaying regmaglyphs and some kind of orientation. Surely permafrost helped to preserve their state.

From the land of the midnight sun, north of the arctic circle, these unique meteorites are something special. Unlike the many meteorites from the dry deserts of the world the Muonionalusta meteorites come from a remote area in the northern taiga where they were preserved many thousands of years by permafrost and glaciers. They were moved by ice shields in the times of glaciations to the place they are found today, now mostly covered by not less than 2 meters of soil, and tree roots clinging to them. They come from the vast northern wilderness. If you could smell the fresh odor of the pine forest, see those swamps and clear lakes we saw, hear the birds singing their songs while observing us from high above, and finally feeling the pure earth between your fingers unearthing a Muonionalusta meteorite from the place it rested for so many years. We hope you will understand us at least a little for our fascination with the Muonionalusta meteorites when you hold a piece of them in your own hands.

Take advantage of the last Imilac meteorites for sale and acquire your specimen today!