The Pallasovka meteorite was discovered in July, 1990 in the Volgograd region of Russia
just 27.5km from the town of Pallasovka. It was found in the
form of a single specimen weighing 198kg which was located on
top of a dyke, partly submerged in clay. It is thought that the
specimen was likely lifted from deeper down in 1978 when the
dyke was built using explosives. Despite radial searches up to
4km from the original find site and speaking with locals in the
area, no other pieces have been found.
The Pallasovka meteorite has been classified
as a Pallasite. Specifically it belongs to the main group of
Pallasites but is distinct because of its unusual chromite
composition. The first person to describe stony-iron meteorites
was the German naturalist, Peter Simon Pallas in 1772.
Interestingly, the town of Pallasovka was named after Pallas who
worked in the area describing a steppe (an extensive plain or
vast treeless grassland). Ironically, the Pallasovka meteorite
was recognised in 2004 which was the same year the town
celebrated its 100th Anniversary.
The Pallasovka meteorite was an elongated
polyhedron shape measuring 40x45x55cm with traces of ablation
visible on only a few sides. Large regmaglypts were also present
on some surfaces. The mineral composition of Pallasovka is
typical of the Pallasites with it primarily consisting of
Iron-Nickel (FeNi) metal and olivine. The olivine in this
meteorite is approximately 60% by volume with some grains almost
3cm in diameter. Troilite (FeS) also occurs throughout the metal
matrix with sizes of grains measured up to 5mm. This specimen is
part of the Meteorites Australia Collection (MA.07.0017).