The Millbillillie eucrite belongs to one of the rarest meteorite types. It is part of the HED group, which also includes howardites and diogenites. Eucrites are achondrites, meaning "not chondrites," so they are lacking in chondrules—the small, spherical, pre-solar grains that give the common chondrites their name. Millbillillie meteorites are volcanic rock from other worlds, and are comprised largely of silicate minerals. They are light in weight—similar in feel to terrestrial pumice—and are among those extremely uncommon meteorites which contain no iron, and show no attraction to a magnet. As such, they are less dense than the majority of meteorites and even a modest specimen of 6 or 7 grams can still be enjoyed and studied without magnification.
Remarkably well defined flowlines on a Millbillillie meteorite
Millbillillies typically exhibit a dazzling color combination: black fusion crust mixed with bright orange Australian desert soil which adhered to the crust, producing a visual contrast of unique and striking beauty.
This 17.5-gram Millbillillie displays abundant flowlines and a glossy, black fusion crust
The Millbillillie fall occurred in October of 1960, and was witnessed by only two men, near the town of Wiluna in Western Australia. It was ten years until the first stone was found. These intriguing space rocks often exhibit distinct orientation, glossy fusion crust, contraction cracks, rollover lips, and some of the most highly defined flowlines of any meteorite.
This full slice of the Millbillillie eucrite shows its unusual internal structure which, unlike most meteorites, is devoid of iron
Some meteoriticists believe that the HED group meteorites may have come to us from the large asteroid Vesta which was discovered in 1807 by the German astronomer Olbers. With a diameter of more than 500 km, Vesta is the second-largest body in the Asteroid Belt. If these alluring space rocks do, in fact, count Vesta as their parent body then they are among a tiny number of meteorites—along with lunars and martians—with a specific known point of origin. See other examples of the Millbillillie meteorite >>>
Photographs by Suzanne Morrison © Aerolite Meteorites LLC
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