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Thin Sections




In optical mineralogy and petrography, a thin section (or petrographic thin section) is a laboratory preparation of a rock, mineral, soil, etc, for use with a polarizing petrographic microscope, electron microscope and electron microprobe. A thin sliver of rock is cut from the sample and ground optically flat. It is then mounted on a glass slide and then ground smooth using progressively finer abrasive grit until the sample is about 30 μm thick. The method involved using the Michel-Lévy interference colour chart. Typically olivine is used as the gauge to determine thickness as it is one of the most abundant minerals in meteorites.

When placed between two polarizing filters set at right angles to each other, the optical properties of the minerals in the thin section alter the colour and intensity of the light as seen by the viewer. As different minerals have different optical properties, most rock forming minerals can be easily identified. 

Thin sections are prepared in order to investigate the optical properties of the minerals in the rock. This work is a part of petrology and helps to reveal the origin and evolution of the parent rock.

Thin section is another valuable and beautiful way to collect meteorites. 


In our laboratory, we have service of Thin Sections preparation. 


There are two ways to carry out this request;


Suspected meteorites, unclassified meteorites or other rocks; € 35 each section (approx. 1.5 x 1 cm. It may be less depending on the sample.)


Classified meteorites; Two options: A) € 35 each section (approx. 1.5 x 1 cm. It may be less depending on the sample.) B) Another similar portion of each specimen to be prepared, to make two sections, with the same characteristics, one for the client and another for the laboratory, in compensation. € 0. To make several sections, the same number of sections for the laboratory must be paid for. If you need more info, please, feel free to consult us any questions about.


Only for classified meteorites




The BEST meteorites to make thin sections;  Consolidated rocks, like basalts, HED, SNC from Mars, LUN from The Moon, Rumurutiites, Ordinaries chondrites, Carbonaceous most consolidated, Ungrouped Achondrites, Asteroidal achondrites.

The WORST (and no recommended) meteorites to make thin sections;  Carbonaceous chondrites CM, CI or less consolidated.  Pallasites and other high content metal meteorites.  


laboratory@meteoriteslab.org 

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Welcome to Meteorites Lab

Petrographic Laboratory of Meteorites (LPMCM) is the heart of the Canary Museum of Meteorites, and therefore we work on the study and analysis of meteorite samples, and also preparation and conservation of astromaterials for scientists and collectors.

Quite often we receive notifications from people who believe they have found a meteorite, and turn to us for study. For this reason, this center has a Research protocol to which they can receive their samples for study, certification and classification of astromaterials.

Then we leave the information regarding this research protocol and how to proceed to access the study of your samples.


On the pages of this website you will find all the information for the submission of samples to the laboratory.  If you need more information, do not hesitate to contact us.
laboratory@meteoriteslab.org