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Monahans warning



Dear Listees,
With the impending Ďauctioní of Monahans, here is a little more information to consider.
According to Zolensky, et al in the paper published on Monahans in NIPR #23 journal this year :

1: "The most likely paragenesis for the halite is asteroidal brines. If this origin is correct, then fluid inclusions may be present." 

2: "Exposure of the meteorite to a humid environment would certainly have caused dissolution of the halite/sylvite, and bleaching of the halite. Exposure to heat or light would also cause the blue color to be bleached out. In other words, if not noted withi!
n a few days of itís fall, any halite present in a chondrite may be routinely overlooked or destroyed. It is therefore possible that halite is commonly present in chondrites, but has been overlooked. It is also possible that a fraction of the sulfate/halide!
 efflorescence noted in Antarctic meteorite is derived from halite, rather than from indigenous contaminants in ice."
 
If you are one of the fractional bidders, as it was explained to me, you will have to make your own arrangements to secure your portion. Because of factoids (1&2) above, cutting by any method may obliterate the blue color because of heat. Using any liquid i!
s out of the question. This stone should be broken, making it more difficult to obtain your fraction in one piece.

Any moisture will cause the halite to deliquesce, which will start to work on the metal in the meteorite, causing rapid decay. The process may already have begun. Remember that the salt may have fluid inclusions.
This meteorite requires special care (vacuum or dry nitrogen environment) to be preserved properly.

What it boils down to, is that many of the unique features of this meteorite may cause itís demise in the (near?) future.

In case you were wondering, I am not going to participate in the auction. 
I have enough salt in my diet already. And the behavior of those involved has soured me a little.

Walt


PS if anyone is interested in more  info from this paper, drop me a line. 
meteorite@compuserve.com


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