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|iron meteorite |
See under meteorite.
any meteorite consisting mainly of iron, usually combined with small amounts of nickel. When such meteorites, often called irons, fall through the atmosphere, they may develop a thin, black crust of iron oxide that quickly weathers to rust. Though iron meteorites constitute only about 5 percent of observed meteorite falls, they are relatively easy to distinguish from terrestrial rock and last longer in soil than do stony meteorites; thus, they are found more often than stony or stony iron meteorites. (The latter, containing stone and iron in about equal amounts, are the rarest group of finds.)