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Sikhote-Alin Meteorites
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Fall Recorded: 1947
Location:  Sikhote-Alin Mountains, Primorye, Russia
Strewnfield: 1.3 km ellipse

Sikhote-Alin Meteorite (also spelled Sikhotae-Alin)
The Sikhote-Alin meteorite fall was a massive impact event that occurred on February 12, 1947, approximately 440
km northeast of Vladivostok, Russia.
At around 10:30 am on February 12, 1947, eyewitnesses in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains, Primorye, Russia,
observed a fireball brighter than the sun that came out of the north and descended at an angle of about 41 degrees.
The bright flash and the deafening sound of the fall were observed for three hundred kilometers around the point of
impact near the village of Paseka (approximately 440 km northeast of Vladivostok). A smoke train, estimated at 32
km long, remained in the sky for several hours.
As the meteorite entered the atmosphere, traveling at a speed of about 14 km/s, it began to break apart, and the
fragments fell together. At an altitude of about 5.6 km, the largest mass apparently broke up in a violent explosion.
The strewn field for this meteorite covered an elliptical area of about 1.3 km. Some of the fragments made craters,
the largest of which was about 26 m across and 6 m deep. Fragments of the meteorite were also driven into the
surrounding trees.
Specimens of the Sikhote-Alin Meteorite are basically of two types;


Individuals are meteorite specimens showing fusion crust and signs of ablation. These first probably broke off of
the main object early in the descent. These pieces are characterized by regmaglypts (cavities resembling thumb
prints) in the surface of each specimen.

(Ablation is defined as the removal of material from the surface of an object by vaporization, chipping, or other
erosive processes. The term occurs in space physics associated with atmospheric reentry)


Shrapnels are meteorite specimens showing evidence of violent fragmentation. The second type is fragments
which were either torn apart in the atmosphere during the descent or blasted apart upon impact. Most were
probably the result of the explosion at 5.6 km altitude.
Sikhote-Alin is a massive fall. The overall size has been estimated at just under 900,000 kg. A large specimen is on
display in Moscow, and a great number of smaller specimens have made their way into private collections.

Structure and chemical composition
The Sikhote-Alin meteorite is classified as a coarse octahedrite type IIB. It is composed of approximately 93% iron,
5.9% nickel, 0.42% cobalt, 0.46% phosphorus, and 0.28% sulfur, with trace amounts of germanium and iridium.
Minerals present include taenite, plessite, rhabites, troilite, chromite, kamacite, and schreibersite.
Sikhote-Alin displays a beautiful pattern of Widmanstatten lines when sliced and etched.  It is the amount of nickel
relative to the amount of iron present that creates this crystalline pattern.  This pattern is only present in etched
meteorites and is one way of determining the authenticity of a suspected meteorite find.  

Iron meteorites are extremely rare. Of all of the meteorites that fall on the earth, scientists estimate that only about
five percent are Iron Meteorites.
Return to Main Meteorite Page
Item # MSA12133949
Sikhote-Alin Individual
82g with thumb prints

Sikhote-Alin nickel-iron meteorite from Russia. Iron Coarsest Octahedrite. It measures
44.6 x 27.9 x 21.2mm and weighs 82g . This nicely shaped specimen is a complete
individual. The surface is covered with the smoothly formed small regmaglypts most often
sought by collectors. Some of the surface of the specimen is more coarsely textured,
while still showing many rounded impressions. This specimen has not been cleaned. The
condition is natural and untouched, just the way it was found
Item # MSA121386822
Sikhote-Alin 332g Etched
Slab Iron Meteorite

332 gram Slice of a Sikhote-Alin meteorite

Sikhote-Alin is the coarsest pattern of the Iron meteorite class as
is seen on this XL slab that measures 8.19 x 4.0 x 0.11 inches
(208.1 x 101.7 x 3mm)
Item # MSA06119026
Sikhote-Alin Shrapnel
62.5g Iron Meteorite

62.5 grams of "Out of This
World" Sikhote-Alin shrapnel

A 62.5 gram natural (just as it
was found) Sikhote-Alin
Shrapnel Meteorite
40mm x 32.4mm x 16.6mm
Nice orientation, flow and some
rollover visible on this
specimen. This meteorite is
natural, un-cut and un-polished
with no coatings.
Item # MSA12135675
Sikhote-Alin Shrapnel
87.5g Iron Meteorite

87.5 grams of "Out of This World" Sikhote-Alin shrapnel meteorite
An 87.5 gram natural (just as it was found) Sikhote-Alin Shrapnel Meteorite
40mm x 32.4mm x 16.6mm
Nice orientation, flow and some rollover visible on this specimen. This
meteorite is natural, un-cut and un-polished with no coatings.
Item # MSA12138957
Sikhote-Alin Sixty Year
Anniversary Commemorative
Coin No 129 of 300

Sikhote-Alin 60 Year Anniversary Commemorative Coin No 129 of 300

2" Zinc Alloy with Antique Silver Finish, this coin set was limited to a run of only 300.

Sikhote-Alin is one of the centerpieces in every collection. Having one of these coins displayed next
to your meteorite specimen will add eye appeal, class and a sense of history to your collection.

The front of the coin bears the face of E.L. Krinov, the scientist who brought this meteorite to the
world’s attention and mapped out the entire fall pattern area. (In the background is his diagram of the
main mass breakup and fall pattern.)

The reverse shows the now famous painting by the artist named Medvedev, created from memory
only moments after the fall. Inset on this side is a small piece of the Sikhote-Alin Meteorite.

This is a true collector piece which will become more valuable with the passage of time.

This coin comes in a vinyl case (as seen in the left photo) and was removed with gloved hand only for
the photographs