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Basic information Name: Cuba
     This is an OFFICIAL meteorite name.
Abbreviation: There is no official abbreviation for this meteorite.
Observed fall: No
Year found: 1871
Country: Cuba
Mass:help 1327 g
NHM Catalogue:  5th Edition  (2000)  IAB
MetBase:  v. 7.1  (2006)  IAB?
Recommended:  Iron, IAB?    [explanation]

This is 1 of 4 approved meteorites classified as Iron, IAB?.   [show all]
Search for other: IAB complex irons, Iron meteorites, and Metal-rich meteorites
Comments: Revised 31 Jan 2022: added information
Writeup from MB 111:

Cuba, additional information

History: The first well-documented meteorite from Cuba was found in the eastern part of the island much before 1871, as was reported by Solano y Eulate (1872). Several weights have been reported for the meteorite since Solano y Eulate (1872). The original publication provided a weight of 1327 g (at least 0.49 g was removed for chemical analysis), whereas subsequent works, however, have conflictingly indicated a weight variation of 1297 g, 1195 g, and 1200.6 g (Fernández-Navarro, 1923; King et al., 1986; Muñoz-Espadas et al., 2002). The different weights may represent alteration and extraction of material for analysis. Furthermore, it is possible that the meteorite originally had several fragments, or was fragmented to be given to different collections. For instance, Ward (1904) reported 3 g in his collection, whereas Horback et al. (1965) mentioned the existence of oxidized fragments of about 2.6 g in the FMNH collection. There is also a fragment of 23 g acquired in 1963 by the SI, seemingly from the original material. Buchwald (1975) suspected that the meteorite is, in fact, a piece of a larger mass and suggest a more detailed investigation in order to confirm the Cuban origin of the SI specimen and not a part of the Toluca meteorite (Mexico), a hypothesis that has never been corroborated nor completely ruled out.

Petrography: Buchwald (1975) characterized the 23 g part slice in the SI (No. 2213, 3 × 1.2 × 0.5 cm) as a medium to coarse octahedrite (kamacite lamellae have an average width of 1.30±0.30 mm) with well-developed Widmanstätten pattern with oriented shine, common Neumann bands, no recrystallization, somewhat brecciated schreibersite but monocrystalline, and the total amount of phosphorus from 0.2 to 0.3%. The hardness, 210±15, suggest some slight cold-deformation. Taenite and plessite occupy about 15% by area. The plessite has either comb-like, or martensitic, or pearlitic or acicular interior, which is frequently observed in Group I irons. The pearlitic decomposition of the austenite to about 0.5 μm subparallel, vermicular lamellae is seen exceptionally well in this specimen. A few of the pearlitic fields have small (100 μm) and imperfect carbide roses, i.e., complex intergrowths of haxonite, taenite and kamacite. Schreibersite occurs as 1 × 0.2 mm subangular grains centrally in the α-lamellae, as 25-50 μm grain boundary precipitates and as 5-20 μm irregular bodies in the plessite fields. Rhabdites occur everywhere as 1-10 μm tetragonal prisms. According to this author, the 1872 analysis that indicates an anomalous low nickel content (3.24%) is wrong but provides no further explanation. A modern photograph shows the highly polished metallic matrix now with a weak Widmanstätten pattern, filled with a scattered distribution of brown iron oxides, probably the result of weathering. The specimen was embedded in epoxy many years ago for preservation.

Specimens: The main mass is housed at MNCN, 1200.6 g MNCN No. 17294; 23 g part slice at SI (No. 2213, 3 × 1.2 × 0.5 cm); 2.6 g in the FMNH collection

Submitted by Yasmani Ceballos Izquierdo

  • Buchwald, Vagn F. (1975) Handbook of Iron Meteorites. University of California Press, 1418 pp. (link)
  • Fernández-Navarro L. (1923). Los Meteoritos del Museo de Madrid. Boletín de la Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural 23, 224–233. (link)
  • Horback H., Hey M. H., Olsen E. J., and Winifred Reinders (1965) Catalog of the collection of meteorites in Chicago Natural History Museum. (link)
  • King E. A., Miguel A. S., Casanova I. and Keil K. (1986) INVENTORY OF THE METEORITE COLLECTION OF THE MUSEO NACIONAL DE CIENCIAS NATURALES, C.S.I.C., MADRID, SPAIN. Meteoritics 21, 193–197. (link)
  • Muñoz-Espadas M. J., Martínez-Frías J., Lunar R., Sanchez B., and Sanchez J. (2002). The meteorite collection of the National Museum of Natural Sciences, Madrid, Spain: An updated catalog. Meteorit. Planet. Sci. 37, B89–B94. (link)
  • Solano y Eulate J.M. (1872) Noticia sobre un hierro meteórico hallado en el departamento oriental de la isla de Cuba. Anales de la Sociedad Española de Historia Natural, Madrid 1, 183–186. (link)
  • Ward, H.A. (1904). Catalogue of the Ward-Coonley Collection of Meteorites. Chicago. (link)
Buchwald The following entries were found for Cuba in Buchwald (1975)
[Buchwald, Vagn F. (1975) Handbook of Iron Meteorites. University of California Press, 1418 pp.]
   and collections
FMNH: Department of Geology The Field Museum of Natural History 1400 South Lake Shore Drive Chicago, IL 60605-2496, USA, United States; Website (institutional address; updated 16 Nov 2011)
SI: Department of Mineral Sciences, NHB-119, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, United States; Website (institutional address; updated 16 Jan 2012)
MNCN: Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, Madrid José Gutiérrez Abascal, 2 28006 Madrid (España) , Spain; Website (institutional address; updated 12 Feb 2022)
Search for specimens in the Smithsonian Institution collection (U.S.):   
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References: Published in Meteoritical Bulletin, no. 111, in preparation (2022)
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Public domain photographs:
Aurelio Nieto Codina            
Philipp Heck   
Tim McCoy   

     Catalogue of Meteorites:   (22°N, 80°W)
     Recommended::   (21°N, 77°W)
Note: the NHM and recommended coordinates are 329.7 km apart

     This is the only approved meteorite from Villa Clara, Cuba
     This is 1 of 2 approved meteorites from Cuba
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