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Widmanstatten patterns 2.jpg
Widmanstätten patterns of Kamacite and Taenite, from a meteorite currently in the Natural History Museum, London.
CategoryMetals and intermetallic alloys
(repeating unit)
Strunz classification1.AE.10
Crystal systemIsometric
Crystal classHexoctahedral (m3m)
H-M symbol: (4/m 3 2/m)
Space groupFm3m
Colormetallic grayish to white
FractureHackly fracture
TenacityMalleable, flexible
Mohs scale hardness5-5.5
Streaklight gray
Specific gravity7.8–8.22
Other characteristicsmagnetic, not radioactive
Widmanstätten pattern showing the two forms of Nickel-Iron, Kamacite and Taenite, in an octahedrite meteorite

Taenite is a mineral found naturally on Earth mostly in iron meteorites. It is an alloy of iron and nickel, with a chemical formula of Fe,Ni and nickel proportions of 20% up to 65%.

The name is derived from the Greek ταινία for "band, ribbon". Taenite is a major constituent of iron meteorites. In octahedrites it is found in bands interleaving with kamacite forming Widmanstätten patterns, whereas in ataxites it is the dominant constituent. In octahedrites a fine intermixture with kamacite can occur, which is called plessite.

Taenite is one of four known Fe-Ni meteorite minerals: The others are kamacite, tetrataenite, and antitaenite.


It is opaque with a metallic grayish to white color. The structure is isometric-hexoctahedral. Its density is around 8 g/cm3 and hardness is 5 to 5.5 on the Mohs scale. Taenite is magnetic, in contrast to antitaenite. The crystal lattice has the c≈a= 3.582±0.002 Å.[4] The Strunz classification is I/A.08-20, while the Dana classification is . It is hexoctahedral (cubic) in structure.

Meteorite localities with taenite

See also


  1. Handbook of Mineralogy
  2. Webmineral data
  3. Warr, L.N. (2021). "IMA–CNMNC approved mineral symbols". Mineralogical Magazine 85 (3): 291–320. doi:10.1180/mgm.2021.43. Bibcode2021MinM...85..291W. 
  4. Albertsen, F.; Knudsen, J. M.; Jensen, G. B. (Jun 1978). "Structure of taenite in two iron meteorites J.". Nature 273 (5662): 453–454. doi:10.1038/273453a0. Bibcode1978Natur.273..453A. 
  • Mason B., 1962: Meteorites. J. Wiley & Sons, New York