The largest iron meteorite slice in the country is coming to Monnig Meteorite Gallery.
The 45-ton meteorite, Mundrabilla, is one of seven slices cut by a dealer in Frankfurt, Germany, and is named after the town in western Australia where it was found, curator Arthur Ehlmann said. The Mundrabilla slice, which measures about 3 feet wide and 2 feet long , is the only slice that will be displayed in the United States, Ehlmann said.
Two slices will be returned to Australia, and the other four will be displayed in museums around Europe, Ehlmann said.
“I think that it is one of the most exquisite pieces we have in the collection,” said Teresa Moss, director of the gallery. “It’s one of my favorites.”
Ehlmann said he paid nothing for the slice. “I had something he wanted, and he had something I wanted,” Ehlmann said.
The dealer chose 15 duplicate meteorites from the collection to trade for the slice, Ehlmann said.
The staff said the slice will join the permanent collection and hope it will be on display within a few weeks.
Moss said the gallery is a popular field trip site for many local schools and serves as a lab for geology, physics and environment sciences.
Moss said she hopes TCU students from all fields would come visit the museum to see the Mundrabilla slice, as well as the rest of the collection.
“There is not much else like it,” Moss said. “Come by and touch a piece of the core of a meteorite.”