Nickel Iron Meteorite Detail

Detail of metallic surface of nickel-iron meteorite. The patterns in the texture, known as "widmanstatten lines," are created as the molten nickel and iron in the asteroid's core cool at the rate of one degree centigrade per million years. The pattern of these lines forms a "fingerprint" unique to each asteroid. Photo: Ron Hipschman.

Meteorite samples courtesy of the California Academy of Sciences.

 

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