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CAI in NWA 001 - via microscope

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#1 Glassthrower

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 04:44 PM

I was looking at my newly-acquired mini-slice of NWA 001 (and L6 chondrite) and I noticed something not visible to the naked eye, and barely discernible under the 10x loupe - a gorgeous CAI with a radial pattern in it. This was using the 10x objective of the Graf-Apsco microscope and a Nikon 10x eyepiece. (total 100x)

The CAI (calcium aluminum inclusion) represents some of the oldest matter in the solar system - older than the planets and the meteorites themselves. This is remnant matter from the solar nebula - trapped in the stony matrix of a meteorite. It has a ivory color to it and a pattern that is not quite radial, and could be the result of shock. The CAI stands out starkly against the dark background of the other stony minerals in the matrix. Also visible are clusters of what appear to be enstatite crystals, which appear in small cavities in the matrix. It really is like observing an alien landscape.

I'll try to snap some afocal photos through the eyepiece later tonight and post them.

#2 Glassthrower

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 04:54 PM

Crud, I just went to snap a photo and my camera battery is dead. It'll take about an hour to recharge. :(

#3 The bear

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 06:50 PM

happens to me all the time batteries need recharging...
doc

#4 Glassthrower

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 07:45 PM

Upon further examination, the pattern within the CAI is not radial. It is a series of lines that is clearly the result of shock and fracture.

The camera battery was 100% dead, so it's still charging, but it should be finished soon.

#5 csa/montana

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 08:52 PM

The camera battery was 100% dead, so it's still charging, but it should be finished soon.



You just like to tease us, Mike :lol:

#6 edwincjones

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 05:49 AM

waiting,
holding my breath,
turning blue
passed out

came to,
waiting,
holding my breath,
turning blue,
.................

the quest for meteorite knowledge can be hard

edj

#7 Glassthrower

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 11:07 AM

The battery must have been completely discharged, because I fell asleep waiting for it to recharge!

I'll get a photo posted today.

#8 csa/montana

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:10 PM

:4

:lol:

#9 Glassthrower

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 12:40 PM

Well, I just learned a valuable lesson about afocal photography via microscope.

It's not easy.

Handheld, all I could get was a blurry mess because I can't hold the camera still enough to get a decent shot. When I shot afocally through my telescope eyepiece, the eyepiece is easier to align with the camera lens, when the camera is mounted a seperated tripod behind the telescope eyepiece. When the microscope is sitting on a table, the eyepiece is pointing straight up. So, it's impossible to get a standard tripod and position the camera above the eyepiece - because there I don't have an offset boom arm to hold the camera.

I need to get one of those camera/eyepiece adapters that holds the camera to the eyepiece barrel via a clamp. Funny thing is, I used to have one a while back for telescope use, and I sold it because I didn't like it or need it - because I used the tripod method.

I shouldn't have sold it apparently. :lol:

Let me go through the shots I did get and see if one of them came out decent enough to share without embarassing myself. ;)

BRB...

#10 Glassthrower

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 01:10 PM

Here's the best I could manage by handholding.

The blurry mess on the outside is the eyepiece barrel. The CAI is the white sphere in the center that is crisscrossed by black lines. The brownish area around the CAI is the stony matrix of NWA 001. You can also just make out the clusters of crystals near the CAI.

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2415243-crude-cai-1.jpg


#11 edwincjones

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 03:06 PM

thank you for the image
and for the meteorite education

edj

#12 Glassthrower

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 05:34 PM

Well, the image is pretty sorry. But it gives some idea of what I saw. It's much prettier through the eyepiece in person.

I am going to re-acquire one of those camera adapters so I can start taking decent microscope photos. I see a lot of neat stuff in meteorites under the microscope, and I would like share those sights. :)

And, for all I know, it might not be a "CAI". It looks like one. But I admit to being enthusiastic but still rather inexperienced when it comes to meteorites and microscopy. It may be another type of chondrule or inclusion. But I am leaning towards CAI because it resembles one so strongly - although this type of chondrite is not widely known for harboring CAI's. I examined the whole mini-slice that I have (about 1 gram, polished on both sides), and that "CAI" is the only one like it in the entire specimen. In fact, the rest of the matrix is chondrule-poor - if this CAI is in fact a run of the mill chondrule of some type.

#13 csa/montana

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 11:27 PM

Wow Mike, that is beautiful!

#14 Glassthrower

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 04:03 PM

I now have a camera-microscope/telescope adapter on the way, thanks to the generosity of CN'er Ed Jones. :)

Once that gets here, I can start taking and sharing some much better photos.

Words really can't describe the "landscape" you see on a meteorite through the microscope. It's like looking down on a little alien world. And that's without a polarizing assembly - with polarized thin sections, the alien world explodes into vibrant color. :)


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