Northwest Africa (NWA) 4502 stone meteorite (carbonaceous chondrite CV3) slice, exhibiting numerous small, colorful, glassy spheres known as chondrules. The expertly prepared, full polished slice weighs 13.2 grams and measures approximately 43 mm x 45 mm x 3 mm. Accompanied by a specimen identification card from Aerolite Meteorites.
While chondrites (stone meteorites in which chondrules are present) are the most abundant type of recovered meteorite on our planet, the carbonaceous chondrite subclass is comparatively rare and of great interest to meteoriticists and those engaged in the study of planets and asteroids.
Chondrules, the small, colorful, glassy spheres seen in this expertly prepared slice, are the multi-billion-year-old building blocks of the planets and asteroids. A snapshot of the beginning of our solar system, and believed to have formed more than 4.6 billion years ago, the densely-packed, colorful chondrules of varying size and color are particularly rich in this specimen, and exquisite in their ancient beauty. When examined with a loupe or microscope these tiny glassy spheres—which have remained essentially unchanged since the formation of our very solar system—seem to take the viewer on a kaleidoscopic journey back to an almost unimaginable time before our own planet even existed. A specimen as visually alluring as it is scientifically important and a tangible piece of ancient cosmic history.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.