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Northwest Africa 1756 (NWA 1756)

Northwest Africa 1756 was purchased by an American dealer while inspecting meteorites on offer by a nomad in the village of Safsaf during October, 2002. The stone was a tiny 68.2g individual and since then, no other paired stones have been found. NWA 1756 was later classified as an ordinary chondrite LL3.0/3.2 Monomict Breccia with a Shock Rating of S1 and a Weathering Level of W1-2 (lightly weathered). It should also be noted that a xenolithic inclusion in this meteorite was found to have a Shock Rating of S4.

At the time, NWA 1756 was an exceptionally exciting find due to it's extremely primitive nature. In fact it was compared to the Semarkona meteorite which is often considered the benchmark for primitive chondrites. However NWA 1756 was later reclassified in 2005 by Grossman and Brearley who developed a more accurate technique for classifying primitive chondrites under 3.2. So using the new classification scheme, the officially recommended classification now stands at LL3.10 still making this one of the most primitive ordinary chondrites ever found. So while there are now a few more primitive chondrites similar to NWA 1756, it will always be remembered as the first truly unmetamorphosed chondrite available to collectors and one of the benchmarks others were later measured against. The 2.0g Endcut below is part of the Meteorites Australia Collection (MA.05.0070).

NWA 1756 (LL3.10) - 2.0g Endcut
NWA 1756 (LL3.10) - 2.0g Endcut

NWA 1756.  T.E. Bunch (NAU)
NWA 1756. Copyright T.E. Bunch (Northern Arizona University)


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