The Allende Meteorite

The Allende Meteorite is the largest of its kind ever found on Earth. It is often referred to as the most widely studied meteorite in history. The fall of this meteorite was viewed in Chihuahua, Mexico in the early hours of February 8th, 1969. It is a carbonaceous chondrite (most primitive type of meteorites), a class of *chonditic meteorite. The meteorite is quite distinguished due to the high quantity of calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions (CAI). Allende hit Earth only a few months prior to the Apollo 11 mission. As one can imagine, it was an exciting time for numerous scientists. Many labs and museums dispatched teams to site to collect samples of the meteorite. The Smithsonian Institution was one of them.

The **chondrules and CAIs found in Allende are approximated to be 4.57 billion years old. The age of this type of meteorite is often taken as the age of the Solar System due to the fact that they have experienced the least mixing since the formation of the Solar System itself.

*Chondritic – chondrite – non-metallic meteorites that haven’t been altered due to melting of the parent body.

**Chondrules -molten or partially molten droplets. Found in chondrites.

Note. Calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions are part of the oldest substances created in our Solar System. Via Facebook.

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