Sculptural Sikhote Alin Meteorite. A huge, sculptural octahedrite meteorite dating to the formation of the solar system, some 4.55 billion years ago. A fragment from the largest witnessed meteorite shower since the dawn of civilisation, recovered from the Sikhote Alin mountains, Siberia. On the morning of February 12th 1947 an enormous iron meteor collided with the earth's atmosphere, exploding over the Siberian mountains and creating a fireball that burned brighter than the sun. The heat generated melted the exterior of this metallic boulder as it span and tumbled to the ground, burrowing deep thumb-shaped impressions and flow lines, as streaks of molten metal vaporised off its surface. Eye witnesses described the impact as a terrifying spectacle - accompanied by explosions and shock waves and leaving a huge smoke trail through the sky for hours after the event. This piece is accompanied by four Soviet stamps, issued to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the impact. The design is taken from P.I. Medvedev's famous painting, an artist who saw the drama unfold.
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