Kamacite

Meteorite mineral

Kamacite is an alloy , which is found on Earth only in meteorites. The proportion iron:nickel is between 90:10 and 95:5; small quantities of other elements, such as cobalt may also be present. The mineral has a metallic luster , is gray and has no clear cleavage is isometric-hexoctahedral. Its density is about 8 g/cm3 and its hardness is 4 on the Mohs scale. It is also sometimes called balkeneisen.

The name was coined in 1861 and is derived from the Greek root καμακ- "kamak" or κάμαξ "kamaks", meaning vine-pole. It is a major constituent of iron meteorites and hexahedrite it is found in bands interleaving with taenite forming Widmanstätten patterns , fine parallel lines called Neumann lines are often seen, which are evidence for structural deformation of adjacent kamacite plates due to shock from impacts.

At times kamacite can be found so closely intermixed with taenite that it is difficult to distinguish them visually, forming plessite. The largest documented kamacite crystal measured 92×54×23 cm (36.2×21.3×9.1 in).