Canyon Diablo (23,100 g)
Canyon Diablo (meteorite)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Canyon Diablo meteorite refers to the many fragments of the asteroid that created Meteor Crater (also called Barringer Crater), Arizona, United States. Meteorites have been found around the crater rim, and are named for nearby Canyon Diablo, which lies about three to four miles west of the crater.
The asteroid fell about 50,000 years ago. The meteorites have been known and used by pre-historic Native Americans, and collected and studied by the scientific community since the 19th century. Meteor Crater, from the late 19th to the early 20th century, was the center of a long dispute over the origin of craters that showed little evidence of volcanism. That debate was largely settled by the early 1930s, thanks to work by Daniel M. Barringer, F.R. Moulton, Harvey Harlow Nininger, and Eugene Shoemaker.
In 1953, Clair Cameron Patterson measured ratios of the lead isotopes in samples of the meteorite. The result permitted a refinement of the estimate of the age of the Earth to 4.550 billion years (± 70 million years).
Composition and classification
This meteorite is an iron octahedrite (coarse octahedrite). Minerals reported from the meteorite include:
- Cohenite – iron carbide
- Chromite – iron magnesium chromium oxide
- Daubréelite – iron(II) chromium sulfide
- Diamond and lonsdaleite – carbon
- Graphite – carbon
- Haxonite – iron nickel carbide
- Kamacite iron nickel alloy – the most common component.
- Base metal sulfides
- Schreibersite – iron nickel phosphide
- Taenite – iron nickel alloy
- Troilite – a variety of the iron sulfide mineral pyrrhotite. The troilite in this sample is used as the standard reference for sulfur isotope ratios.
- Moissanite – a variety of silicon carbide, the second hardest natural mineral.
Samples may contain troilite-graphite nodules with metal veins and small diamonds.