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TITLE: Pallasites

These beautiful combinations of metal and gemlike crystals are called pallasites after Peter Simon Pallas, the German naturalist who first described them in 1772. Pallasites contain roughly equal amounts of olivine, a green-to-brown silicate mineral, and nickel-iron metal. This association suggests that pallasites come from the boundary region between an asteroid's metallic core and silicate mantle where mixing of the two materials occurred.

[Photo: Pallasites]

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits