Brilliant Polished Meteorite Offers a Fascinating Look at the Making of Earth

When picturing a meteorite, we generally think of it as something that's jagged with a rough texture. Reddit user Isai76, however, recently shared something unexpected – a polished meteorite! It was posted in the subreddit called Damnthatsinteresting, a place that welcomes the rare and unusual. The shiny rock hardly looks like a meteorite at all, and it features brilliant metallic bits underneath a glass-like surface.

In addition to the photo, fellow Redditor fewthe3rd explained what makes this polished piece so special. It's technically a pallasitic meteorite, and the green-yellow transparent minerals are called olivine, which composes most of the upper mantle of the Earth. The metallic parts are an iron-nickel alloy.

Here's where it gets interesting. The mixture of the iron-nickel alloy and olivine originated from a small protoplanet out of the dawn of the Solar System. It melted from its original material of chondrite and separated into iron alloy and silicate phases (known as core and mantle). “Towards the end of the protoplanet's life,” fewthe3rd explains, “it experienced a very violent collision with another body and [this] forced the contact between the core and the mantle to become perturbed via shockwaves from the impact – hence the mixing.” Collisions like this lead to bigger bodies and eventually formed the terrestrial planets. “So this is kind of an baby picture of the Earth,” fewthe3rd says.

Catch a Falling Star Meterorites currently sells this special polished meteorite for $12,000.

Image shared by Isai76 on Reddit

Polished Meteorite Reddit post

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content