Aletai (38,860 g)

Aletai (38,860 g)

Nomenclature of the Aletai (IIIE-an) iron meteorites from Xinjiang, China

Chemical and petrographic analyses of multiple iron meteorite masses in the northern part of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, China, indicate pairing of these masses with the Armanty (IIIE) iron. All of these iron meteorites, as well any paired material that may be discovered in the future, will henceforth carry the official name “Aletai,” the name of a local county. The names “Armanty,” “Xinjiang (b),” and “Xinjiang 008” (a provisional name) are now abolished, and become synonyms for Aletai. In a previous action (MetBull 95), the name “Ulasitai” was abolished, and made a synonym for Armanty; “Ulasitai” will now become a synonym for Aletai.

This entry also corrects previously published coordinates for the 28 tonne Armanty mass, announces several new masses, and presents compositional data by J.T. Wasson, UCLA, for five of the paired masses. The masses form a NW-SE array, spanning approximately 425 km across China and a sliver of Mongolia (although no masses have been reported from Mongolia).

Aletaidiscovery of new large mass

History: A new, 23 tonne mass of Aletai was found recently in a pasture of Aletai county (48°2’17"N, 88°23’3"E) in June, 2021. It was buried by soil and grass and covered with light-brown rust. The place where this mass was found is quite close to the coordinates for the Wuxilike and Akebulake masses of Aletai. The nearest place is named WuQilike on the Baidu map.

Geochemistry: The mass is mainly composed of kamacite (6.82-7.21 wt.% Ni) and taenite (14.45-41.13 wt.% Ni),with minor plessite, schreibersite (34.20-48.86 wt.% Ni) and haxonite (4.68-4.87 wt.% Ni, 0.13-0.27 wt.% Co). Haxonite is present in the center of plessite. Kamacite bandwidth is about 1.0±0.2 mm. Composition of metallic Fe-Ni and the occurrence of haxonite is compatible with IIIE iron.

Classification: Paired with Aletai.

Specimens: Held by Aletai Department of Natural Resources. A specimen of 20 g is deposited at PMO.


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