Welcome to MuonionalustaMeteorites.com!

The number one site about Muonionalusta meteorites.


-The new swedish meteorite forum,
see link to the left!

-Checkout pictures from the summer excavation of the +1 ton meteorite!



Muonionalusta is located north of the artic circle in the northern part of Sweden and the first meteorite was found in 1906.

The meteorite that is an iron has been classified as a fine octahedrite classe IVA and is considered to have a spectacular etch pattern. You can read more about the meteorites minerals, chemistry and structure under the "Chemistry and structure" tab.

We that run this page are Thomas Österberg and Daniel Svensson. We have been collecting minerals for many years both in Sweden and abroad, but the last years we have mainly been searching for meteorites in the Muonionalusta area.

When we started this project (and even today) there were very few pictures on the internet and quite little information about meteorite hunting in the Muonionalusta area. Some etched slides on ebay were present but not much more.

This is an attempt to change that, atleast a little.

Please enjoy the pictures!

Please notice that in Sweden you must apply for a license for using a metal detector!
You must also have the permission from the land owner if you wish to collect meteorites.
If you wish to go hunting, please be a responsible collector and don´t destroy or leave any traces after you!

The story of discovery of the Muonionalusta meteorite - some quoting from Wickmann (1997)

" In 1906 two children were tending cattle near the village of Kitkiöjärvi in northermost Sweden.

While kicking at stones lying on the ground, one child suddenly struck an exceptionally heavy and rusty object, which they took home to the village.

It was later identified as an iron meteorite and was described by Högbom (1910) under the name Muonionalusta. It was studied much later by Malmqvist (1948). "

In the picture: the discoverer of Muonionalusta meteorite, Viktor Mattila, at the place of discovery, photo taken 1956 (almost 50 years after the discovery). (Picture from Wickman 1964)

See fullsize picture of Viktor Mattila and his sister Amalia Mattila

"In 1946, a second meteorite was found, in Kitkiöjoki, where the foundations of a house were being excavated. From these two iron meteorites and the paucity of the population, Wickman concluded that a meteorite crater must exist in the area, and visited the general area in 1956, hoping to locate the crater. Regrettably, his hopes were in vain but he did discover that there was an oral tradition in Kitkiöjärvi regarding another iron meteorites as a result of the first recovered meteorite in 1906. According to the man who told the story to hid children, he had found it in the village probably in the 1870s, though it was later discarded.

Subsequently Wickman (1956) wrote a pamphlet, which was printed and distributed to every household in the area to make known the possibility of finding meteorites. Eventually, in 1963, a third iron meteorite was discovered, this time during the building of a logging track not very far from Kitkiöjoki. All the meteorites so far found are described by Wickman (1963, 1964) and by Buchwald (1975).

The 6.20 kg "Muonionalusta III" meteorite found in 1963

Chang & Wänke (1969) established the terrestrial age (> 800.000 years) of one of the meteorites and some of its consequences are discussed by Wickman (1970). As Sweden, and especially its northern parts, has been repeatedly glaciated during the last one million years it became evident that the meteorites must have undergone a complex glacial transport history before their discovery. For this reason Wickman encouraged Lagerbäck, who has experience of the glacial geology of the region, to take an interest in the meteorites and their terrestrial history.

Inspired by the prospect of discovering an impact crater, potentially containing a Quarternary stratigraphy dating back several hundreds of thousands of years, Lagerbäck visited the area in 1989. Aerial photographs covering the area were studied and the geological conditions at the find sites, the regolith stratigraphy included, were examined. However, no obvius crater could be identified, though an interesting piece of information was obtained from people occupied with road work between Kitkiöjoki and Kitkiöjärvi. They told how the previous year a stone crusher, working in a lonely area NW of Muodoslompolo, became jammed by a piece of "soft iron". Eventually this trail revealed that two pieces of this "iron" had been encountered and fortunately one had been secured before it could pass through the crusher."

Some meteorites from the area:

Individual meteorite, "the dog head", 12 kg.

The crystal planes can be seen at some places where the metal has been exposed. Look also from the side at the triangularshape of the meteorite, that is parallell with corresponding Widmanstätten figures / crystal planes inside (900 g).

"Crystallised extraterrestrial iron" A beautiful 6 kg piece found in 2005. The corrosion have removed all traces of regmaglypts and created a "3D etch" showing widmanstatten in real space.

A beautiful impressive 80 kg piece with some nice regmaglyptic shapes. Found in 2004. If you compare with the piece above you realise that this piece is not very corroded.

Some cut and etched meteorites:

Troilite inclusion, very nice!

End piece measuring 110 x 55 mm.

Some meteorite art!

A knife with a nice deep etch.


Excavation summer of 2008 - 1.2 ton meteorite find !

Thomas with friends has started to celebrate the sucessfull excavation. This photo was taken by Andreas Forsberg (C).

An amazingly big piece!


Pictures from the hunting in the Muonionalusta area:

Old watermill in the vicinity of Vittangi.

After alot of searching finally we found our first specimen of the year - we where very happy!

Very very happy!

After some cleaning - a super nice 18 kg specimen!

Typical look of with water cleaned but else untreated meteorite. Some people might prefer the rusty look rather than the more metallic
look, but from our experience to avoid further deterioration one must carefully remove the rust physically and apply some protecting oil.

Thomas Österberg digging for a meteorite.

Daniel Svensson digging for another meteorite.

The meteorite can be seen at the end of the hammer.


After plenty of work it finally came up to the surface!

After the meteorite has been taken up the hole must be filled and restored.


Scenery at the Muonio river.

Gravel - pit about 10 km NV of Muonionalusta, where a Muonionalusta meteorite was found during processing of gravel in 1994.

Midnight sun over the Muoni river.

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Updated 2008-10-14

©2008 Daniel Svensson E-mail: daniel_svensson@hotmail.com
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