The Gibeon Meteorite
|Natural space art from the asteroid belt. Exceptional display specimens, like those pictured below have virtually disappeared from the collector market. These have all come from an old private collection.|
Large masses were reported to exist near the East bank of the Great Fish River to English Army Captain J.E. Alexander in 1838. The meteorite was known by the local natives for many years before this, who had worked the smaller specimens into arrowheads and assagai-heads. Many other large masses have been found since this first report. More then 54 tons of this meteorite is in museums or university collections. The main mass weighs 650 kilograms and is located at the South African Museum in Cape Town.
Etched slices show lines in the metoerite called "widmanstatten" lines. These are the result of the acid reacting different to the high nickel taenite and low nickel kamacite crystals. Gibeon's main composition is iron (90%), nickel (8%) and cobalt (0.4%). Other minerals include kamacite, taenite, troilite, chromite, deabreelite, enstatite and tridymite. Radiometric dating places the age of crystallization of the metal of the Gibeon meteorite at around 4 billion years.
Click images to enlarge:
4.6 KG measuring 177 mm by 125 mm by 125 mm. Stands up naturally as shown.
5.2 KG measuring 151 mm by 150 mm by 102 mm. Stands up naturally as shown.
6.2 KG measuring 260 mm by 90 mm by 75 mm.
8.8 KG measuring 200 mm by 175 mm by 100 mm. Stands up naturally as shown.
9.5 KG measuring 205 mm by 153 mm by 98 mm. Stands up naturally as shown.
14 KG measuring 178 mm by 138 mm by 124 mm.
15 KG measuring 302 mm by 201 mm by 97 mm.
The photos below are more representative of the actual color.
113 KG measuring 430 mm by 355 mm by 252 mm.