Experts affirm that the meteorite fallen in Viñales is of the acondrit type

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The meteorite that exploded several kilometers above sea level last Friday, February 1st, and threw a shower of rock fragments on the Viñales National Park is of the “acondrito” type, the least abundant, which distinguishes itself from other chondritos by presenting few condrules (small spherical inclusions formed by minerals such as olivines and pyroxenes).

The study of a sample with optical microscopy, allowed to determine a series of characteristics of the meteorite, especially of a fragment that was collected in the vicinity of the hotel Los Jazmines.

This preliminary study was carried out with the cooperation of the petrologist Angélica Isabel Llanes Castro and the mineralogist María Santa Cruz Pacheco, from the Institute of Geology and Paleontology.

These observations are only intended to abound a little in the characteristics of this object fallen from the sky.

The analysis of the micrometeorite collected near Los Jazmines allowed us to determine that the primary object and the pieces that reached the Earth are constituted by a series of fragments of different dimensions.  The observations made so far allow us to affirm that each fragment had a peculiar history, although its general constitution is similar.

The composition of the micrometeorite analyzed is similar to the dunites, rocks that form the mantle of the Earth, but it is distinguished from them because the latter have hydrated minerals.

The micrometeorite of Los Jazmines has a thin carmelite outer layer resulting from fusion.

Inside it is composed of more than seven fragments closely linked to each other, as seen in the next photo of the cross section. Each fragment is made up of mineral grains of different sizes.

As an exceptional case, isolated quartz grains are observed in some fragments. The rock has magnetic characteristics, determined by the high iron content of the pyrrotine.

It is possible that a detailed study of the various fragments that fell in Viñales gives characteristics not distinguished at first sight until now. The next step is the analysis of the minerals using microprobe and other techniques.

(Taken from Cubadebate in Spanish)

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