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Uploaded on Dec 20, 2012
This "movie" is really a connected series of virtual slices through one of the Sutter's Mill meteorite fragments recovered in California last April. At the American Museum of Natural History, researchers studied the composition of the fragments using x-ray computed tomography (CT), an imaging technique that takes pictures of the inside of a specimen without destroying it. The Museum's scanner takes more than 1,000 x-ray images of the object as it rotates inside of the machine. The data collected from these x-rays are then converted using computers to form a 3-D density map of the specimen's interior, one slice at a time, to understand the components of the meteorite. The researchers found that the meteorite is a "breccia," a mixture of different rocks that accumulated at the surface of a larger parent asteroid. (AMNH/D. Ebel)