A single 45 g stone was found in Northwest Africa and sold in Erfoud, Morocco to a collector. A sample was submitted for analysis and classification to Northern Arizona University (T. Bunch), and Planetary Studies Foundation (P. Sipiera). Northwest Africa 3330 was determined to be a chondrite with anomalous fayalite (Fa21.8) and ferrosilite (Fs18.8) ranges, and was assigned to the transitional H/L chondrite group. The H/L group comprises a couple of dozen members, most of which might represent a distinct ordinary chondrite parent body. Northwest Africa 3330 is either a representative of this distinct parent body, or alternatively, it could indicate that the Fa and Fs ranges for the H and L parent bodies need to be extended. The potential identification of other chemical and petrographic characteristics inconsistent with those of the H and L parent bodies would help settle this question.
ordinary chondrite Fa and Fs ranges
A petrologic type of 5 was assigned to this meteorite, a rare type shared by only one other transitional H/L chondrite member (Dhofar 428). Northwest Africa 3330 has been shocked to stage S2 and has experienced terrestrial weathering consistent with grade W3. The specimen of NWA 3330 shown above is a 1.26 g partial slice.