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NWA 11721 R3 Meteorite

NWA 11721 R3 MeteoriteLocation: Northwest Africa
Find / Fall: Find December 2017
Classification: Rumuruti chondrite R3 (breccia)
Total Known Weight: 5.35 kg

The NWA 11721 meteorite is an R chondrite which is close to the heart of The Meteorite Exchange. Several of the recovered stones were sent to us to cut for a friend. They were unclassified at the time and bought as likely a carbonaceous meteorite of some type. However, during the cutting they seemed very unusual and not at all like a carbonaceous meteorite. As Jim was examining a slice he saw that the stones had no visible metal, that a rare earth magnet would not stick to the material, and that the stones were brecciated. It was strongly looking like an R chondrite type. The nicely defined chondrules had us all hoping for a type 3 classification. A 25-gram slice was cut by Jim and sent to Dr. Tony Irving for classification. We stayed in contact with our friend, the owner of the stones as it went through the scientific process and were delighted when it was officially determined to be an R3 chondrite.

NWA 11721 has a total known weight of 5.35 kilograms, is a breccia with angular clasts set in a metal-free matrix with well-formed separated unequilibrated chondrules. Rumaruti meteorites are one of the scarcest types. R chondrites are often breccias and are often a mixture of petrological types. NWA 11721 has chondrules of just the single type 3 variety.

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