A class of iron meteorite which is nickel-rich, containing more than 12% nickel. The ataxites contain discrete spindles of kamacite (a nickel-poor iron–nickel alloy), fringed by taenite (up to 50% nickel), forming an octahedral arrangement (see Octahedrite). A mixture of kamacite and taenite, called plessite, fills the spaces between the spindles. Ataxite meteorites do not show an obvious Widmanstätten pattern, nor can the fine striations known as Neumann lines be seen. The Hoba West meteorite is an ataxite.
Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.