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The Maralinga meteorite was discovered 35km WSW of Maralinga, South Australia, Australia during 1974 but was not recognised as a meteorite until 1989. Just one weathered stone weighing 3.38kg was found but this has been incorrectly reported in the past as 33.8kg. Maralinga has been classified as an Anomalous CK4 Carbonaceous Chondrite although it does show close affinities to the CV chondrites. It has a Shock Rating of 3 and a Weathering Level of about 2.

A very interesting paper has been written on the Maralinga meteorite which goes into great detail and is available for download at the link below. It mentions that the "rough surface texture reflects the interior of closely packed chondrules" which can be seen along the top edge of the slice below. It also states that "parts of the surface are covered with patches of carbonates where it was presumably buried, and veins of fine grained carbonate extend into the interior of the stone". This is visible as white patches on the outer crust and veins trailing through the interior of the slice in the second image.

When one hears the name 'Maralinga' mentioned in Australia, it's not the moderately sized carbonaceous meteorite that raised numerous scientific questions you think about.  Instead you imagine a monstrous mushroom cloud over the scorched Australian outback. Maralinga in South Australia was the site of the main testing ground in Australia for Nuclear tests between 1952 to 1963 which were conducted by the British government in agreement with the Australian government. To this day, it is still a sensitive issue and you need only to do a quick web search on "Maralinga" to get an idea.

This specimen is a 13.8g Complete Slice taken from the Maralinga stone and is part of the Meteorites Australia Collection (MA.05.0008).

Maralinga, a metamorphosed carbonaceous chondrite found in Australia. Lindsay P. Keller; James C. Clark; Charles F. Lewis; Carleton B. Moore. (850kb)


Maralinga (Anomalous CK4) - 13.8g Complete Slice. (MA.05.0008)

Maralinga (Anomalous CK4) - 13.8g Complete Slice. (MA.05.0008)

Nuclear Testing at Maralinga

Nuclear Testing at Maralinga



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