The Union County Meteorite
This cut section of the Union County meteorite
shows the melted and weathered outer surface.
Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History
Larger than actual size
Sample of “Union County Meteorite”
in possession of the Union County Historical Society
- This sample was sawn from the meteorite, polished and acid etched. Sample: 2.12 grams, 12 mm x 7 mm x 2 mm.
- Classified: “IC” Iron, Coarsest octahedrite (2.1 mm), Shock-hardened but not annealed
- Analysis: 93.88% Iron 6.12 % Nickel, 54.8 ppm. Gallium, 245 ppm. Germanium, 2.1 ppm. Iridium
This an iron meteorite. Iron meteorites are believed to be from the core of a broken up asteroid, not from debris left by a comet. IC irons are very rare. This meteorite is one of only nine meteorites of this classification known world wide. This is one of 24 approved meteorites from Georgia. This is one of 1535 approved meteorites from United States (plus 33 unapproved names) (plus 28 impact craters)
“Union County” This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name. There is no official abbreviation for this meteorite. The fall of the meteorite was not observed, but could be prehistoric as the meteorite is heavily oxidized from exposure to the weather. Its original mass was 6.8 kg. (15 lbs.) It was found in 1853. The meteorite was found in Union County, Georgia. The official location is 34°45'N, 84°0'W (reported in 1966 as 34°52'N, 83°55'W) (reported in 1915 as 34° 48'N, 84° 12'W.) All of these locations are within the boundaries of Union County as it existed in 1853.
In 1854 the meteorite was acquired for the meteorite Collection of Amherst College, Mass. by Professor Charles Shepard and Amherst’s President Edward Hitchcock. Since that time, the meteorite has been cut into many smaller pieces and distributed across the world to scientists, museums and collectors.