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Martian Meteorites | Lunar Rocks | HED Group | PAC Group | Carbonaceous Chondrites | Rare Chondrites Last Updated: March 2023

L Group

With about 6,500 members (including probable pairings), the chondrites of the L group represent the second largest group of ordinary chondrites. The "L" stands for "low iron" - especially in its free form. L chondrites contain a weight percentage of 20 to 25% total iron, but only 4 to 10% nickel-iron is found as free metal. Therefore, L chondrites are also attracted to a magnet, but much less than their cousins of the H group.

The L chondrites belong to the petrological types 3 - 7, with a characteristic peak at type 6. More than 4,000 have been classified as L6, about 1,300 as L5, just 400 as L4, and only about 300 as L3. Brecciated members that show clasts of several petrologic types do occur, but they are more rare than in the H group. Besides magnetite and nickel-iron, the L chondrites are composed of olivine and the orthopyroxene hypersthene. Consequently, they have been called "olivine hypersthene chondrites" or "hypersthene chondrites" in older literature and papers. However, this name is not fitting modern meteoritics and the Meteoritical Society discourages the use of these names.

When it comes to the origin of the L chondrites it has been suspected that they might be former parts of the near-Earth asteroid 433 Eros which has been intensely studied by the spacecraft NEAR-Shoemaker recently. The reflectance spectra of 433 Eros and the L chondrites seem to match closely - however, most L chondrites show signs of severe shock metamorphism suggesting a violent history of its parent body. Maybe the real parent of the L chondrites was some kind of relative or a former part of 433 Eros that has been entirely disrupted when it collided with another asteroid.


Chateau-Renard L6

Montargis Loiret, only 30 kg

Fall 12 june 1841 13 h 30


Chateau renard 00

42.37 gr

Endcut showing nice shock veins MNHN Paris number " 1508 " on it !


Chateau renard 01

1.86 gr

Very thin and nice slice of European historical fall !



Chateau renard 02

1.75 gr

Nice slice with fresh visible metal !


Chateau renard 03

0.74 gr

Nice and thin slice for this witness fall




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