Abstract

There have been many descriptions of the technic by which the structural patterns of the different components in iron meteorites can be developed. The oldest method was by heating a thin section of the meteorite over a burner and a contrasting pattern would result because the various components oxidized differently. This method is seldom if ever used today. Liquid etching agents give better patterns and can be more easily controlled to bring out the desired degree of etching. Most of the iron meteorites in the past 25 years have been etched with dilute nitric acid. It was also recommended that any nodules of troilite, etc., should be lacquered before the application of the etching solution. This precaution is not necessary in the method for etching iron meteorites that is now employed at the U. S. National Museum, and the etched surface obtained by following the method here described gives a much more attractive surface than was obtainable from all the other etching methods tried in our laboratories.

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