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Fact sheet


The Launton meteorite fell on February 15th 1830 after observers witnessed a fireball accompanied by a triple detonation. A single 1.06 kg stone was later found.

Launton is near Bicester, Oxfordshire, England.

The Launton meteorite is classified as an L6 (veined) ordinary chondrite meaning it has a low iron content (5-10%) and indistinct chondrules (round features) that have in many places have been metamorphosed under conditions to homogenise the pre-existing minerals (olivine and pyroxene mainly). Look in PPL to see a few remaining chondrules (such as rotation 1) and some relatively large blocky olivine pyroxene crystals (rotation 2). Note the melt vein along the right-hand edge of the section and the rusty brown alteration patches surrounding metallic iron. We do not feature a polished thin section so there is no reflected light view.

See also:

Specimen: BM77528
Thin section: 

51.894186, -1.116185
Launton, near Bicester, Oxfordshire, England
About this collection

This Collection consists of meteorites that have fallen in Great Britain and Ireland and which are now preserved in museum collections. We have also included samples of the two known meteorite impact deposits in the UK.

The Natural History Museum in London offers more information about meteorites and meteorite categories; there is more information about its meteorite collections here.

Sample details

Rock-forming mineral
metallic iron
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: