Murchison Display - Rare 1969 Carbonaceous Meteorite w/ Amino Acids

This handsome meteorite display contains a genuine fragment (select choice piece) of the Murchison carbonaceous chondrite meteorite that fell over Murchison Australia on September 28, 1969.

Murchison meteorites were reported to have a strange rotten smell when fresh. Later scientific studies suggest that this odor was due to the presence of various organic compounds, including amino acids. Murchison has been one of the most studied meteorites in science. Countless research papers have been published on it and it continues to be the source of active scientific study. Murchison is particularly exciting because it contains many compounds not typically seen in meteorites. This opens the door on the possibility that meteorites like Murchison may have help sow the ingredients for life on worlds like Earth.

Murchison meteorites are predominately black in color with tiny white inclusions, including CAI's. (calcium aluminum inclusions). Some of these inclusions are older than the Earth itself, because Murchison has been found to contain stardust that is the result of supernovas. Murchison is a fascinating meteorite and is classified as a "CM2" carbonaceous chondrite. Large specimens of Murchison are not commonly seen and they command astronomical prices. Most collectors opt for a micromount of Murchison, because other carbonaceous types (like Allende) are more often seen in large pieces and at better prices.

This display contains a capsule of Murchison meteorite dust and tiny fragments. The display has a color print of a scientist holding a large Murchison individual and a vial full of extracted exotic compounds. This display measures approx. 4 inches by 3 inches, and would make a fine outreach or teaching prop.

Refer to the photo. The black centimeter cube is shown for scale and is not included.

From the Meteoritical Bulletin entry on Murchison :



The place of fall or discovery: Near Murchison, Victoria, Australia; φ = 36'37'S, λ = 145°12'E .

Date of fall or discovery: FALL, September 28,1969,between 10h45m and 11 h 00m L.T.

Class and type: STONE, carbonaceous chondrite, type II or III.

Number of individual specimens: Meteorite shower on an area over 5 square miles.

Total weight: About 4 ½ kg; largest mass weights 680.2 g.

Circumstances of the fall or discovery: A fireball was seen. It was parted into three pieces before its disappearing. After that a cloud of smoke was seen and 30 seconds later a tremor was heard. Some of the specimens were found on a road and the largest one weighing 680 g came through a roof and fell in the hay.

Source: A telegram October 9, 1969 and the information reports No. 779, 780, 783, 785 and 787 of the Center for Short-lived Phenomena, Cambridge, USA.

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