MIL 03346 - Clinopyroxenite Nakhlite
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Fact sheet

MIL 03346 - Clinopyroxenite Nakhlite

MIL 03346 was recovered from blue ice on December 15th 2003 in the Miller Range, Antarctica. Its weight is 715 grams and about 60% of its surface consists of wrinkled fusion crust. It is a nakhlite that appears to be from the same lava flow as the other nakhlites, but it has had a faster cooling rate than the others. MIL 03346 has been dated by three different isotopic techniques: Ar/Ar 1.44 ± 0.02 b.y.; Rb/Sr 1.29 ± 0.12 b.y.; Nd/Sm 1.36 ± 0.03 b.y.

The meteorite mainly consists of pyroxene (augite) with rare olivine set in a fine-grained interstitial glassy mesostasis. Many of the crystals are well-formed (euhedral) indicating crystallization prior to eruption. Melt inclusions are found in the augite and olivine, and have been shown to contain jarosite, saponite and Cl-rich amphibole. Olivine crystals  have Fe-rich rims. Devitrification of the glass has produced dendritic intergrowths of olivine (fayalite), Ti-magnetite, ferro-hedenbergite, cristobalite, apatite and feldspar glass.

Alteration of MIL 03346 has produced iddingsite-smectite within fractured olivine and gypsum has been noted in cracks, veins and voids throughout the meteorite.

This description draws on the work of NASA scientist Charles Meyer - compiler of The Mars Meteorite Compendium. A pdf document describing MIL 03346 is available.

-83.25, 157
Miller Range, Antarctica
About this collection

This collection of meteorites includes Shergottites, Nakhlites and Chassignites (or SNC meteorites) which originate from the surface of the planet Mars.

They carry unique signals of the surface of the planet that allows scientists to study the composition and age of Martian rocks. The collection includes a sample of the famous ALH84001 meteorite, evidence from which was used in 1996 to begin the debate of 'life on Mars?'. 


Sample details

Collection: Martian Meteorites
Clinopyroxenite shergottite
Rock-forming mineral
Accessory minerals
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
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We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: