Tenham (meteorite)

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Tenham meteorite
Tenham Meteorite.JPG
On display in the Natural History Museum, London
Type Chondrite
Class Carbonaceous chondrite
Country Australia
Region Tenham station, South Gregory, western Queensland
Fall date 1879

Tenham meteorites are the fragments of a larger meteorite that fell in 1879 in a remote area of Australia near the Tenham station, South Gregory, in western Queensland. Although the fall was seen by a number of people its exact date has not been established. Bright meteors were seen to be moving roughly from west to east. Stones were subsequently recovered from over a large area, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) long by 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) wide.

Because the Tenham meteorites were recovered quite soon after they fell, from a remote and dry region in which weathering and other alterations had not set in, they have been invaluable for scientific study of meteorites and their mineral contents. They are examples of chondritic meteorites, containing a high level of organic compounds, and rich in silicates, oxides, and sulfides. Many scientific studies have explored the mineralogy of these meteorites and their non-terrestrial features.[1]

Because the Tenham meteorites show evidence of high pressure deformations, they have been used to infer chemical and mineral changes that might occur within Earth's mantle.[2]

Ringwoodite, the high pressure forsterite polymorph named after Ted Ringwood was discovered in fragments of the Tenham meteorite.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Tomioka, Naotaka and Fujino, Kiyoshi (22 August 1997). "Natural (Mg,Fe)SiO3-Ilmenite and -Perovskite in the Tenham Meteorite". Science 277 (5329): 1084–1086. Bibcode:1997Sci...277.1084T. doi:10.1126/science.277.5329.1084. PMID 9262473. 
  2. ^ Putnis, A and Price, GD (19 July 1979). "High-pressure (Mg, Fe)2SiO4 phases in the Tenham chondritic meteorite". Nature 280 (5719): 217–218. Bibcode:1979Natur.280..217P. doi:10.1038/280217a0. 
  3. ^ Binns, R. A.; Davis, R. J.; Reed, S. J. B. (7 March 1969). "Ringwoodite, Natural (Mg,Fe)2SiO4 Spinel in the Tenham Meteorite". Nature 221 (5184): 943–944. Bibcode:1969Natur.221..943B. doi:10.1038/221943a0. 

Coordinates: 25°44′0″S 142°57′0″E / 25.73333°S 142.95000°E / -25.73333; 142.95000