This iron is considered by several of the first authorities"on the subject to be of meteoric origin,' but no evidence hitherto given seems to prove decisively that it cannot be telluric. That the nodules found were lying on gneissic rock, with no basaltic rocks in the neighbourhood, does not prove that the iron may not originate from basalt, for the nodules may have been transported by the glaciers, like other erratic blocks, and will stand erosion much longer than the basalt, which may long ago have disappeared.
Thus in 1857 he went to Peru in order to determine the magnetic equator; in1861-1862and 1864, he studied telluric absorption in the solar spectrum in Italy and Switzerland; in 1867 he carried out optical and magnetic experiments at the Azores; he successfully observed both transits of Venus, that of 1874 in Japan, that of 1882 at Oran in Algeria; and he took part in a long series of solar eclipse-expeditions, e.g.
Gutbier (Ann., 1905, 34 2, p. 266) by reduction of the dioxide obtained 127.6; Marckwald, by determining the ratio of telluric acid to tellurium dioxide, obtained 126.85; H.
Telluric acid forms cubic and monoclinic crystals from a hot nitric acid solution, and ammonium fluosilicate gives cubic and hexagonal forms from aqueous solutions between 6° and 13°.
The trioxide is an orangecoloured solid which is formed when telluric acid is strongly heated.
Telluric acid, H2Te04, is obtained in the form of its salts when tellurium is fused with potassium carbonate and nitre, or by the oxidizing action of chlorine on a tellurite in alkaline solution.
This iron needed no tempering, and the Celts had probably found it ready smelted by nature, just as the Eskimo had learned of themselves to use telluric iron embedded in basalt.
This iron has very often beautiful Widmannstatten figures like those of iron meteorites, but it is obviously of telluric origin.'