Back in 1807, the idea of thousands of small objects orbiting the Sun just as the planets do was as fresh as ideas get. The fourth such object discovered, later proving to be the second largest in size, Vesta is also the asteroid belt object most closely associated with meteorites on earth.
Vesta has provided earth based collectors with samples of three distinct levels of its geology. We call these Howardites, Eucrites, and Diogenites, or collectively, as the HED clan. NWA 8588 is considered a Polymict-Eucrite, representing the fused fragments of Vesta's deep crust following multiple impacts with other bodies.
Eucrites' makeup is very similar to earthly basalts, which flow from volcanos. NWA 8588 once existed as a molten mass within the large asteroid. Its many obvious clasts and shattered components reflect the violence of the period prior to its being launched on a flight to earth. As a gabroic breccia, this meteorite requires a higher level of magnification to appreciate its crystal structure.
Coming from Northwest Africa's dense collection area, NWA 8588 is one of those meteorites that appears to have been here on earth for quite some tiime.