Item of the Month: May 2017


Krasnoyarsk meteorite or 'Pallas Iron' 
TUG 1185-10
Mass: 104 grams

The meteorite fragment known as 'Pallas Iron' was the first meteorite in the museum's collection, donated to the Rector of the University of Tartu Georg Friedrich Parrot by the academician Johann Gottlieb Georgi of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Sciences in 1808. The Krasnoyarsk meteorite, weighing approximately 700 kilograms, was discovered in Siberia in 1749 and was transported a few decades later to St. Petersburg where it was described by the German scientist Peter Simon Pallas who was working there at the time. The celestial rocks eponymously known as pallasites or 'Pallas Iron' are a class of stony-iron meteorite which consists of olivine crystals in an iron-nickel matrix. Other meteorites of the same class have later also been found elsewhere.

This meteorite fragment was part of the very same Krasnoyarsk meteorite examined by Pallas. Smaller pieces were chipped off the meteorite in St Petersburg, to be donated to Russian and foreign science establishments, such as the University of Tartu and the Natural History Museum of Berlin.

The project is curated by Inge Kukk
The project is supported by the Cultural Endowment of Estonia