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Fukang : An Extraterrestrial Gemstone

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When the Fukang meteorite slammed into the surface of Earth, one suspected this extraterrestrial gemstone could mirror the stellar beauty of the cosmos, and it really did.

Its true beauty was revealed when the Fukang meteorite was divided into slices. The Fukang pallasite is one of the greatest meteorite discoveries of the 21st century.

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Fukang is a spectacular pallasite found in the 2000s in the Gobi Desert of northwestern China’s Xinjiang Province. Photo: James. St. John

Pallasites are extremely rare even among meteorites (only about 1% of all meteorites are this type.

The Fukang’s main mass is over 925 pounds (over 420 kilograms).

It displays celestial yellow-green olivine crystals in an prominent nickel-iron matrix. Backlit slices from the Fukang mass are reminiscent of stained glass windows crafted in the ancient solar system.

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These stellar gemstones are composed of about 50% olivine (peridot), 50% nickel-iron and 100% breathtaking beauty. This is the main mass of the Fukang meteorite, which failed to sell after being valued at $2million. The intact space rock weighed as much as a small car! Image credit: Southwest Meteorite Laboratory

What makes the meteorite so extraordinary is without doubt its amazing glow!

Within the rock, translucent golden crystals of a mineral called olivine gleamed among a silvery honeycomb of nickel-iron.

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