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Meteorite-Times Magazine Contents by Editor Like

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Featured Monthly Articles Accretion Desk by Martin Horejsi Jim’s Fragments by Jim Tobin Meteorite Market Trends by Michael Blood Bob’s Findings by Robert Verish IMCA Insights by The IMCA Team Micro Visions by John Kashuba Galactic Lore by Mike Gilmer Meteorite Calendar by Anne Black Meteorite of the Month by Michael Johnson Tektite of the Month by Editor

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Meteorite-Times Magazine Hessle, Sweden It’s a Baseball! It’s a Lollypop! It’s Gunpowder! Nope, it’s just a New Years Day Meteorite by Martin Horejsi Gefällt mir

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Updated: Martin Horejsi’s Meteorite Books Website

A January 1, 1869 Witnessed Fall: Hessle, Sweden

It’s a Baseball! It’s a Lollypop! It’s Gunpowder! Nope, it’s just a New Years Day Meteorite

Like cosmic gumballs, licorice of course, these fell on New Years Day in 1869 just six degrees shy of the Arctic Circle. But because of where they fell, maybe they should be described as small Swedish meatballs. According to the Catalogue of Meteorites, the Hessle meteorite shower occurred on January 1, 1869 at about 12:30 pm. In a single content-dense sentence the rest of the story of the fall is presented. Or is it? Let’s start with the CoM entry and go from there. After detonations, a shower of stones, weighing from about 1.8kg to a few grams each, fell over an area about 3 x 9 miles; some fell upon ice a few inches thick without breaking it, and powdery, carbonaceous matter was found in association with the stones.


A quick analysis of the description of the fall yields the following: There were loud noises preceding the fall. The fall was a shower of stones. The meteorites ranged from 1800g to a few grams. The Hessle strewnfield was 4.8km by 14.5km. Some meteorites landed on ice a few inches thick but didn’t break the ice. A powdery material was found with the stones.

With a form similar to Holbrook (but with less metal and more surface texture) and Pultusk (same classification but with more contraction cracks), complete individuals, even sub-gram ones, are highly desired since there are only so many to go around, and their number can only go down. Each of the listed CoM details is an important fact about the fall, but without the rich background the facts fall far short of the real story. When reading an earlier account of the fall included in the book A Chapter in


the History of Meteorites by Walter Flight, the elements of the Hessle story take on an entirely new life. And in this case anyway, open the door for one to take a somewhat humorous bend on the story. In this particular case, I will be doing the bending. First of all, consider that this fall landed shortly after noon on not just any old day, but on New Years Day. And a Friday in case you’re wondering. Now I think it is fair to give those winter loving Swedes the benefit of the doubt that the previous night some alcoholic libations might have been consumed in personal quantities somewhat beyond responsible moderation. Also, although they were hopefully not as apocalyptical as we are now, I’m sure a hail of stones falling from the sky, especially when said stones’ fall was preceded by thunderous roars from the heavens, might have caused a few tickers to beat a little faster as their owners wondered if the End was near (that’s End with a capitol E). And that goes double for those select individuals who missed certain death as the thunderstones collided with mother earth mere meters from where the church doors had just opened releasing the worshipers back into the custody of a cloudy afternoon. Now you can read into that church part what you want, but outside a direct lightening bolt strike, to me anyway, not much else screams Act of God as a sizzling hot chunk of rock flung from the asteroid belt right at your head. But back to the story. A few of the Catalogue facts ring hollow, or at least tinny under closer scrutiny provided by those who were there when the event occurred. Of course I was not among them, but the words provided by letters published by Mr. Flight cast a bright light on just how shallow our generalized descriptions are especially those of the auditory aspects of this phenomenon. For instance, the word “detonations” hardly captures the dynamic sounds produced by the Hessle meteorites. Remember that this was a shower, not just a fall. Now imagine, if you will, hearing a couple of bangs in the distance. Big deal right. Thunder? Dynamite? Military artillery? Tree falling? Glacier movement? Could be anything. Of course we know better today because we can look it up in the Catalogue of Meteorites 5th edition, right? Well what if you heard something that sounded like: “heavy peals of thunder, followed by a rattling noise as of waggons (sic) at a gallop, and ending at first with a note like an organ tone, and then a hissing sound.” Bit of a difference, eh?

The total weight of the four similar sized pieces picture above is less than two grams. Fortunately that does not translate into value. Hessle stones, especially complete individuals, have been offered so rarely in the past that most collectors not only are missing the Hessle entry in their collection (except supermicros), but also have not had the opportunity to even consider acquiring a sample.


Now lets take a closer look at the physics of the fall itself. First, the fall is named Hessle, presumably because that’s where it fell. Horseshoes, hand grenades, and meteorite falls. Close enough is good enough. The funny thing is that none of the residents of Hessle, according the Flight entry, observed the fall although a: “luminous meteor was noticed by observers at a distance.” Not bad, describing it as a meteor, given that the Hessle meteorite fall is the first reported in Sweden. But then again, airplanes are still a few decades off, and space aliens weren’t as popular to use as excuses as they are today. But I digress. The stones were reported to have been: “strewn over a line of country lying 30 degrees E. of S. towards 30 degrees W. of N.” Now I chewed on that sentence for quite a while before giving up and spitting it out. Pardon my vector analysis, but east of south? West of north? Can someone toss me a bone here? I must of cut class when my geography prof covered that one. One suggestion is that the terms southeast and northwest were lost in translation. Sounds reasonable to me. Now remember, this is 1/1/69 of the 1800s variety. The fall location is a full 60 degrees north of the equator just six degrees and some minutes south of the Arctic Circle, and just a few days after the Winter Solstice. In other words, it should be cold, yet the report states that the ice on a local lake, where some specimens just happen to fall, was only “a few inches” thick. A few years ago, I drug my family above the Arctic Circle in Finland (next door to Sweden) just to see what was up there. Plenty of trees. Plenty of mosquitoes. And plenty of cold. Yet as I type this here in my home just shy of 47 degrees north, and as it happens, also on New Years Day, its freezing outside! Everything is frozen. The creeks. The lakes. The pipes. Not that it’s like this every January first, but our lake ice is many times thicker then a few inches.

The above comparision of the weather as of this writing in both Missoula, Montana and Uppsala, Sweden shows just how similar my town’s temperature is to that of where the meteorite fell. At least until the weekend when I’ll be wearing sunglasses and skiing fresh powder while my friends in Uppsala will be listening to the rain fall from a dark sky. Why does this matter, you ask? Well it was reported that the Hessle stones slammed into the frozen lake


near an ice fisherman. Normally I might wonder who was in the spiritual right, the churchgoer or the fisherman, but in this case neither was spared the close call. I can ask questions like this because I was raised fishing on the River That Runs Through It and just happen to still live within a few clicks of said river. But regardless of the Biblical considerations, the ice thickness is the topic at hand. The report describes the landing behavior of some of the stones, when they hit the frozen lake (which, by the way, had better have ice more than two inches thick if anyone is going to walk around safely): “After digging a hole three or four inches deep, rebounded….” Where to start? Bouncing meteorites? Four-inch deep holes in two-inch thick ice? I won’t pick on the metaphysics any further except to say that later, under close scientific inspection, they didn’t bounce during “laboratory tests.” Interestingly, the bouncing meteorites were taken as evidence for, well, let me quote from the story: “This explains in some degree the statements of eye witnesses as to their remarkably small downward velocity.” Presumably these are the same eyewitnesses who did not hear any of the thunder, wagons, organ pipes, or hissing.

Perfect individuals are the rarest of the already rare. In the case of this member of the quartet, the primary crust damage on this little fellow was field bandaged with secondary crust during battle with earth’s atmosphere. To top off, the particular quoted passage ends with: “when picked up, it was still warm.” I used to be of the faith that 21st century man knew better when it came to such things as hot and cold meteorites. But in my never ending (some say obsessive) pursuit to surround myself with the evidence of historic witnessed meteorite falls, a majority of documents I’ve read clearly places the surface temperature of freshly fallen meteorites decidedly above that of the average room. Say what you will about me, but I think these rocks from space are more apt to be warm to the touch then cold, with a few being on the dangerously hot side. Of course there are many reports of the frozen variety thunderstone, but the lesson here is to listen to the witness and not immediately dogpile on their facts in an attempt to make the world fit your rules. Everyone out there, raise your hand if you have touched a meteorite immediately after it fell. I thought so.


Now I know you have not read this far just to hear my opinions, but stay with me for one more. The Hessle meteorite fall is one of a few where not just stones were recovered, but also an unusual gray powder. But more on that in a moment. First, a mild digression into the “field analysis” of the stones. The ice bouncing aspect of the Hessle stones became important when it was observed that: “it is a remarkable fact that nearly all the specimens which have been collected fell intact.” But what I personally find more remarkable (in a funny, ha ha way for me), and so did one of the early observers (but not for the same reason) is that the geologic integrity of the Hessle stone is such that (if you can believe this): “Though the structure of these meteorites is so loose that they break in pieces when thrown with the hand against the floor or frozen ground…” Notice the “they” as in plural? I wonder how many stones were analyzed in such a way. And, as they say, but wait. There’s more!

Years ago, a few specimens of Hessle were traded out of the Stockholm Museum. The moment I heard that some individuals were available for exchange, I immediately requested the best complete individuals. I was sent a photo of the stones and chose four. A photocopy of the original specimen label arrived with each beautiful stone. The initial evaluation of the stones included the following two helpful observations: “The exterior of the stones is black; the interior bright grey, and sufficiently porous to cling to the tongue.” So the importance of smashing the intact bouncing stones was to do the tongue test, a classic yet intimate geologic assessment that has caused the less learned to make the faulty assumption that geologists eat rocks. Or in this case meteorites. Remember the gray powder mentioned earlier? Well there have been several if not numerous reports of a dark colored powder accompanying some meteorite falls. Often the powder is discounted as nothing important, or worse, considered not related to the meteorite. In


this case Lindstrom published an analysis of the dust in 1869 that was later dismissed by Wahl in 1950 because there was no potassium. But here’s the exciting part. The gray powder, which has been described in other meteorite falls as smelling like gunpowder, may have similar properties to the Chinese invention. But more on that in a second. First, the words of the Flight book again: “The most remarkable feature of the Hessle shower is the association with the stones already described of other cosmical matter, chiefly composed of carbon. It was remarked by the peasants that some of the stones which fell on the ice near Arno soon crumbled to a blackish-brown powder, which formed with the snow-water a mixture resembling coffee-grounds. Similar powder was found on the ice at Hafslaviken in masses as large as the hand, which floated like foam on water, and could not be held between the fingers.” Any guesses on that one? The description reminds me of some sort of hydrophobic graphite material. I have not consulted with a coffee expert, but I don’t think the latte’ crowd had yet descended upon this hamlet 20km from Uppsala. In other words, the comparison of the powder to coffee grounds might be understood differently in our Starbucks saturated landscape. I err on the side of coffee grounds in 1869 being much coarser then the average grind today. With no electricity, bistro, or even paper cup, the horizontal cranking common to portable coffee grinders likely produced a grind larger than sand but smaller than gravel. Or maybe a combination grind of both sand and gravel. Maybe even including sand or gravel depending on the quality of the grinder.

Although durable enough to land on ice, bounce, then move around the earth for 142 years, these stones have grown fragile with age. In fact, I suspect even a light toss onto a floor would be enough to downgrade them from individuals to fragments. Under the microscope, the powder contained “small spherical granules… and metallic particles extractible with the magnet.” But, the best test was yet to come. As any third grade boy would suggest, if something smells like gun powder, the it is only natural to compare it to the definitive property of gun powder. In this case: “and, when ignited, burnt away, leaving a reddish-brown ash.” Do you get it? Hot meteorites landing in a pool of gunpowder? The implications are staggering! Maybe meteorites were not only the precursor for iron sword blades, but also for guns. Just a thought.


Look close at the left surface. Can you see the orientation? The lipping? The radial flowlines? Great gifts do come in small packages! Mr. Nordenskjold, the one who did the analysis, deduced that, “The combustible constituent accompanying the stony matter in the above mixture appears to have the formula nC9H8O2. The Hessle stones form a new member of the small class of carbonaceous meteorites, that is to say, such as contain carbon in the amorphous state, or combined with hydrogen and oxygen, or in both these conditions; it includes at present those which fell at Kaba, Cold Bokkeveldt, Alais, Orgueil, Goalpara, and others.” So now this odd collection of Hessle meteorites that fell intact, bounced on ice, arrived warm, shattered when thrown, stuck to the tongue, indiscriminately almost hit folks, and traveled with combustible powder also joins a rare class that at the time contained some of the strangest meteorites known to fall. Not bad for an H5 ordinary chondrite. Happy New Year Hessle, and also to you! Until next time…. The Accretion Desk welcomes all comments and feedback. accretiondesk@gmail.com

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Meteorite-Times Magazine Newly Found Craters Compared by Jim Tobin Gefällt mir

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It isn’t every day that a new crater is discovered on the Earth but we have been very fortunate that several have been found in the couple years that had meteorites associated with them. The similarities of the meteorites found at Gebel Kamil and Whitecourt is going to be my topic this month. The physical properties of iron meteorites definitely helps in the survival of greater numbers of fragments then is the case of stone type meteorites which form craters. Other than Dalgaranga and Carancas meteorites are lacking from most stone asteroid cratering events. Weathering and quicker total terrestialization of stone types may also lead to their not being found around craters. The magnitude of the crater event also plays a role in whether fragments can survive. Smaller event will leave more meteorite fragments recoverable then huge impacts. In the case of both the Gebel Kamil and Whitecourt events they were on the lower end of explosion energy. Larger events may form more glass and melted rock while they vaporize more completely the original impactor. There is always the need with irons found at craters to make a first visual decision about their form. Are they individuals that fell separate from the main crater forming body? These would be likely pieces that broke off during passage through the atmosphere. Or, the other possible decision to be made, are they torn apart shrapnel fragments that were blasted out of the crater? On very old meteorites like Odessa and sometimes Canyon Diablo it is nearly impossible to be 100 percent sure. In the case of both of these there has been so much time and weathering that most of the smaller pieces were shaped through other processes and have little relationship to how they looked immediately after landing. Large pieces however, from Canyon Diablo or Odessa often still preserve their appearance as individuals. One can say with more confidence that the pits in large meteorites are actually regmaglyphs from flight and not the pits from rusting or the cavities of lost graphite nodules which have weathered out. Here is a challenge for the reader. Pick out the real meteorites in the following photo.


In the case of the following samples of Gebel Kamil and Whitecourt the evidence is much clearer. They are shrapnel fragments. They are metal torn by tremendous forces when their original mass struck the Earth. They show around their edges rolled and twisted thin metal. On the broader surfaces there will usually be striations; lines marking where the metal was ripped apart. The Sikhote Alin fall produced thousands of fragments of meteoritic shrapnel. Fragments from there show these features as well even though most people would not consider Sikhote Alin an explosive impact cratering event. It did produce several large impact pits where massive meteorites were recovered. In explosive events the meteorite is mostly vaporized and the crater is excavated by explosive forces. Impact pits on the other hand are holes in the ground made by the large body just pounding itself into the ground where it fell. There is no real displacement of rock in an impact pit.


85.4 gram Gebel Kamil Ungrouped Ataxite

Whitecourt Medium Octahedrite


The Kamil Meteor Crater is a 45-meter-wide, 16-meter-deep hole blasted into the Egyptian desert. It is likely only a few thousands years old. The Whitecourt Crater is just slightly smaller at a diameter of 36 meters with a depth of 6 meters. It appears to be younger at around 1100 years of age. The Gebel Kamil fragments show what would be expected. They are sandblasted on the exposed surfaces and have thin patinas of oxide. Whereas, the Whitecourt fragments from the wet forest environment show much greater weathering with thicker layers of oxide and often flaking and beginnings of cracking. Even with these differences they are remarkably similar in character and shape. Making one think that similar material acted on by similar forces, will react in a similar way. Nothing shocking I guess, Sherlock Holmes would probably have just said “elementary� to that last sentence. Yet it is still interesting to place the specimens next to each other and see the results of similar forces demonstrated in a single glance.

Striations on the torn surface of a Gebel Kamil

The twisted and rolled edge of a Gebel Kamil The real meteorites in the first photo are top row right Gebel Kamil and bottom row middle Whitecourt. The rest are bomb shrapnel pieces collected in the Mojave Desert in a most unlikely location years ago. As a little side note this month I have the follow picture to offer. About a year ago I was asked to work with a nickel test to see if it had application for the manufacture as a tester for meteorites. After trying it on a wide variety of meteorites I found it to be unreliable and reported my results to the manufacturer. But, I recently had need to try it again and the results were the same. It is still not very useful for meteorites. But, I thought it might be of interest to show how such simple tests do not work on meteorites. The only good


nickel test I have found for meteorites is to go all the way with proper chemicals and proper time honored procedures. But, here are some swabs from the commercial nickel test.

Swab on the left is a US five cent piece called a nickel. Good reaction bright strawberry pink results achieved quickly. Second swab from left, very slight reaction to a slice of Gibeon. Not a pink reaction more of a purplish black. Third from left outside of an ataxite individual. Very slight reaction, you can see just a hint of pink to the orange caused by removing a little oxidation onto swab. Reaction to a piece of rusted iron is swab on right. Nearly the same as last swab no reaction at all except to clean the surface. This is the reaction it should have had since there is no nickel in the sample. For the test to be useful for meteorites there should have been a strong reaction to the ataxite and both it and the Gibeon should have been a pink color indication. Tests in the past on both slices and individuals of many meteorites very rarely gave the slightest indication at all of nickel. Until next month have fun with your space rocks there is much to learn. Please Share and Enjoy:


Meteorite-Times Magazine Meteorite Market Trends by Michael Blood Like

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This Month’s Meteorite Market Trends

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Meteorite-Times Magazine Happy New Year by Robert Verish Gefällt mir

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Happy New Year Previous “Bob’s Findings” Articles – Revisions and Updates. Hello Year 2011! Goodbye Year 2010! The start of a new year gives all of us a chance to start anew. A chance to improve upon the previous year. Or, if the year 2010 was a particularly good year for you, then at least, the new year gives you a chance to extend your good fortune. Looking forward to Year 2011 is all well and good, but in order to gauge “improvement” for the coming year, it requires that we look back and reflect upon the past Year 2010. For just as we sang on New Year’s Day, “… Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and times of auld lang syne?”, this is the time to think back to out past activities and to remember our old acquaintances, as well as, all of the new friendships that we made in 2010. In this day and age of the Internet and Facebook, our “acquaintances” are very often virtual. But even though we are physically separated in distance from each other, none the less, we are all electronically connected now. Our most mundane daily activities are only a Twitter away from being shared with all of our “friends” and acquaintances on the social network. So in this day of information overload, it’s hard NOT to gauge our past year’s activities and to make comparisons with prior years. And since most of the readers of this article consider themselves as “meteorite collectors”, it is hard not to judge and make comparisons based upon how many meteorite falls and finds have occurred over the past year, and have been made available for our collections. So then, it should come as no surprise that the 2010 year-ending issue of Meteorite magazine carries an article by the editor, Derek Sears, entitled “The Meteorites of 2010! [See "References" below] Keep in mind that this article only lists those meteorites “reported” in various Newsletters and Bulletins, and not necessarily “found” in year 2010. But it appears that 1,382 meteorites have been “reported” in 2010. Not going to attempt to compare this number to previous years, but only mention this number in order to set a baseline in our endeavor to improve upon this number in year 2011. And to this end, in order to be able to gauge my contribution to the 2011 totals, I will now report on the number of meteorites that I “found” in year 2010. You may remember that my January 2010 article (one year ago) was about a meteorite that was found on the last day of year 2009 and was possibly The Last Meteorite Found for Year 2009 (Maybe?) Well, obviously I can’t count that one in my total (although it will be “reported” in 2011), so I will start my total from that date onward.

Lucerne Valley 121 (CK4)

LV 121 (CK4) – all three (3) pieces together.


The above two images are of my first meteorite find for 2010. Made a trip out to Lucerne Valley to checkout the “dry” lake to see if the lakebed surface was altered, after the winter storms passed through earlier (during the 2010 Tucson Show) . Improvement to the lakebed wasn’t readily apparent, so the question of whether my find was recently exhumed, or was just plain missed by a small army of meteorite-hunters, still remains unanswered. But, because of the manner in which I found this fragment “standing-up”, makes me want to vote for “recently exhumed”.

Mifflin (L5) Above image is of my one-and-only Mifflin, WISCONSIN find. This was the subject of my June 2010 “Bob’s Findings” article.

Provisional name reserved (L6) Provisional name reserved (L6) It was exactly 1 month later when I made my 3rd find for the year 2010. Actually, it was 13 finds, but I count is as one find (being that they are all from the same strewn field) and it occurred over a 4-day trip to Nevada. This many finds was a bit of a surprise since we had already searched this area over a 5 year period. But again, during the previous winter, this drylake had a lot of standing water and experienced a lot of “resurfacing” of the lakebed. So, it shouldn’t have been that much of a “surprise”.

Yelland Dry Lake (H4)

Yelland Dry Lake (H4)

A whole 5 months goes by before I make my next find. While staying over-night in Ely, we make a swing by Yelland Dry Lake just to see it first-hand. I had attempted to access this playa 3 years earlier but I had to turn back due to muddy conditions. So, I was more than curious to see this dry lakebed. We were surprised that there were still dozens of (tiny) fragments to be found on the surface, considering all of the tire-tracks and the number of meteorite-hunters that had just searched this locality. Even more of a surprise to me was that I was able to find two fragments that were 31.4g and 47.8g respectively. Both of these are external fragments – exhibiting at least one surface that is relict fusion-crust – but have different weathering coloration/patina. The 31.4g one has the typical patina for the vast majority of fragments found at this locality, but the 47.8g one is a rare, black chondrite, yet I still think it is one of the H4 stones.


Total: If I can’t say that I found 4 meteorites in 2010, then at least, I should be able to say that I found meteorites at 4 localities. Please, don’t make the mistake of construing my ‘full disclosure” as some form of bragging, because I know for a fact that many of my peers have done much better last year. If anything, I should be apologizing for having such a sub-par year. And now I have no excuse for not showing some improvement in 2011. Over the past year, I’ve received various comments and suggestions about previous “Bob’s Findings” articles, which has prompted me to make various revisions and updates. And in conclusion, I would like to list those updated articles below: Museum Takes Meteorite-Collecting Field Trip to – Superior Valley This is the second update to this article in less than a year. The museum frequently changed the links to their webpages, and in fact, they finally ended-up removing all of their webpages relating to meteorites. So, with the permission of their webmaster, I archived the old, deleted webpages and images on my own server. I was then able to restore my November 2003 article. The Rock Springs (L6) chondrite – a new Wyoming meteorite found by Dave Freeman! Recently found the images for this article, after they had been missing for a few years, which allowed me to “restore” this article, one of the few web pages which documented this rare Wyoming find from 2003. The Moss Meteorite (a slide-show on my summer vacation to Norway) As fate would have it, my planned summer vacation to Norway coincided with the fall of the Moss (Norway) meteorite. I gladly modified my itinerary to include a side-trip to the Moss meteorite strewn field. This article was originally just an image gallery of my trip. Because I returned from Norway too late, my August 2006 article was postponed and wasn’t published as part of the August MeteoriteTimes.com, but I eventually placed my webpage on-line. The links to recent information about this important meteorite fall has been updated again. Meteorite displays at the Griffith Observatory have REOPENED! This November 2006 article was intended to focus on the various meteorite displays, and in particular the California Meteorite exhibit, on display at the newly remodeled Griffith Observatory here in Los Angeles. But as of the writing of that article, those exhibits were still “under construction”. Nevertheless, the Griffith Observatory was finally re-opened! And now that the final touches to the exhibits are finished, I made an update to this article. I replaced the “Slideshow” with an image gallery of these fabulous meteorite displays. Sand Encrusted Stones of the NWA 869 Meteorite Sand grains from the Sahara Desert are caliche-cemented to the exterior of unwashed chondritic stones of the NWA 869 meteorite. Many NWA 869 stones were hand-scrubbed to remove this caliche prior to being sold on the market. Most of these NWA 869 stones have retained some of these sand-grains still cemented within cracks on the exterior of these stones. It was subsequently observed that there was very little difference between these sand-grains and the sand-grains cemented in cracks on the exterior of a Bouse (L4-6) meteorite specimen. Recent discussions regarding the find locality for the Bouse meteorite has prompted me to update this November 2007, as well as the prior Bouse Meteorite articles. REFERENCES: The Meteorites of 2010, by Derek Sears, in METEORITE – November 2010 Volume 16, No. 4 Author has listed the geographical distribution of meteorites as reported in the U.S. Antarctic Meteorite Newsletter, the Japanese Meteorite Newsletter, and the Meteoritical Bulletin during year 2010. “The year 2010 saw 1382 new meteorites reported in the…”


My previous articles can be found *HERE* For for more information, please contact me by email: Bolide*chaser Please Share and Enjoy:


Meteorite-Times Magazine IMCA Insights – January 2011 by IMCA TEAM Gefällt mir

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IMCA Insights – January 2011 How it all started – Part 1 by Anne Black & Various IMCA Members In December 2010 I asked our members for input for our IMCA Insights, and a few questions that would shed light on the different backgrounds of those members who were willing to answer. I asked: How did you become interested by meteorites? Which one was your first one? Which one is your favorite one? And a picture of that meteorite would be nice too. Here are the first six responses we received, some with pictures, some without. Enjoy! Twink Monrad

The Golden Rule Meteorite (Photo courtesy of Twink Monrad) Q: How did you become interested by meteorites? A: I became interested in meteorites when my friends Jim Kriegh and John Blennert invited me to help map the Gold Basin strewnfield. Q: Which one was your first one? A: My first meteorite was a Gold Basin I found. Q: Which one is your favorite one? A: My favorite is the 797 gram L5 Golden Rule I found in the Gold Basin strewnfield (see the photo above). Twink Monrad IMCA 9454 Arlene Schlazer I’ve been a collector since childhood, basically of rocks, minerals, shells and fossils. I was at a Swap Meet


of all places, and came upon a booth filled with beautiful amethyst cathedrals, crystals, etc. Of course, I had to have a look. And there on the counter stood a slice of etched metal. I asked what it was, as I had never seen anything quite like it before, and the gentleman said it was a Gibeon meteorite. That was the beginning of my odyssey into the world of meteorites! What began as a leisurely stroll on a Sunday afternoon has led me in to a community of wonderful people, a collection that encompasses a wide array of beautiful and intriguing cosmic treasures and an unending passion for creating digital art from them. I was instantly intrigued with the idea that it took a 4.5 billion year journey through the cosmos to ultimately land in my living room! I was fascinated that something that old could resemble modern abstract art. And so, that led to my idea for “Art from Out of this World”. Utilizing the underlying patterns, and working with different software programs, my motto still holds…….”The possibilities for creating are as infinite as the stars above that rained these treasures we call meteorites”….. Below are a few photos of before and after…….. enjoy!……… Arlene Schlazer IMCA 5219

Gibeon Etch Pattern Inspiration for the Aurora series (Photo courtesy of Arlene Schlazer)


Gibeon Aurora LR (Picture courtesy of Arlene Schlazer)

Gibeon Aurora II LR (Picture courtesy of Arlene Schlazer) Charley Butterfield I don’t remember exactly what spurred me to make my first meteorite purchase. My first purchases were a Mundrabilla and a Nantan (bought at the same time). It is difficult to say which is my favorite but I guess I would have to say Sikhote-Alin (followed by Brenham and New Concord). Charley Butterfield IMCA 6123


Warren Sansoucie I became interested in meteorites by way of my uncle, an engineer that worked for NASA at the Cape. He always had a nice collection of meteorites and I was hooked the instant I learned what they were. My first meteorite was one from his collection, a Canyon Diablo (around 60 grams). My favorite meteorite is a NWA unclassified ordinary chondrite. This particular specimen (see the photo below) has a beautiful red-orange and mottled yellow matrix and a moderate amount of metal. Warren Sansoucie IMCA 3174

Unclassified NWA Chondrite (Photo courtesy of Warren Sansoucie) Washington S. McCuistian Q: How did you become interested by meteorites? A: I’ve always had an affinity for space. Seeing as how I could hold something that travelled through space seemed (and still seems!) fantastic. It’s amazing to think that the history of the solar system, galaxies, and even the universe can be found in the many varied rocks that come to Earth. Q: Which one was your first one? A: Tatahouine, approx. 1 gram Q: Which one is your favorite one? A: Even though I collect micros, my favorite meteorite is the L4/5 DaG 570 main mass I own. It is approximately 734 grams (see the photo below). My entire family loves it! Washington S. McCuistian IMCA 8942


DaG 570, L4/5 Chondrite, Main Mass (Photo courtesy of Washington S. McCuistian) Mike D. Reynolds, Ph.D. Q: How did you become interested by meteorites? A: I was interested in astronomy and space since I was 7 years old — some 50 years ago… Q: Which one was your first one? Canyon Diablo; I bought a small fragment during a field trip to the Childrens Museum (!!) when I was 9. I spent my milk money on that meteorite; my parents could not understand why I spent money on a meteorite. Q: Which one is your favorite one? A: ALL of them!!! Q: And a picture of that meteorite would be nice too. A: You do not have enough disc space… Mike D. Reynolds, Ph.D. Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences Florida State College at Jacksonville IMCA 1964 Next month we will present you with some more interesting responses by our members - stay tuned, and if you want to share your own story, you know how to reach us. This article has been compiled and edited by Anne Black and Norbert Classen • IMCA Home Page • IMCA Code of Ethics • IMCA Member List • Join IMCA • IMCA Meteorite Info Please Share and Enjoy:


Meteorite-Times Magazine DaG 1040 by John Kashuba Gefällt mir

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Dar al Gani 1040 is an odd CV3. It has a light colored matrix and light colored chondrules. In the hand a fresh slice sparkles with metal in the chondrules and the chondrules stand proud of the matrix. It seems the matrix is friable and sheds a little during cutting. In thin section it is rich with features.

A slice.


Metal in a chondrule. Thin section in incident light.

Metal in a chondrule. Thin section in incident light.


Same field as above in cross-polarized light.

TS in XPL


TS in XPL

Horse looking back at his tail.


Toast.

Variety.


Enveloping compound barred olivine chondrule.


Decorated barred chondrule.

Large BO chondrule. Please Share and Enjoy:


Meteorite-Times Magazine Cutting Meteorites for Beginners by Michael Gilmer Gefällt mir

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Before we begin, I want to give a little background on my own cutting, so this will give some context to the tips and pointers I am going to offer below. I use a Lortone Rock Rascal 6-inch lapidary saw. I paid about $300 for it. It is now discontinued by Lortone, but they are still available for purchase from some vendors as NOS – New Old Stock. It is the only rock saw I have personally used. I like this saw. I did some research before buying it and I considered several alternatives before deciding on this particular saw. I could have bought a bigger saw and budget was not a constraint – but I went with the 6-inch saw because I don’t have much desire (or opportunity) to cut large specimens. The vast majority of the specimens I deal with are about the size of a golf ball (or smaller), so a 6-inch saw was all I needed.


I cut frequently and I have cut several types of material. I have cut some rocks, shells, and other non-meteorite materials, but I will limit my comments to cutting meteorites and tektites. Materials I have cut – every type of OC one can imagine, highly weathered materials, fresh materials, carbonaceous chondrites (several types), mesosiderites, howardites, eucrites, and indochinites. I don’t cut irons. It’s too labor intensive, time intensive, and it’s hard on the equipment. So all of the advice below is geared towards cutting stony-type meteorites and some mesosiderites. DISCLAIMER : I am not claiming to be an expert and these remarks are intended as unsolicited advice for newbies who are curious about cutting or would like to learn more about cutting. I do not claim that my methods and equipment are the best choice on the market. I use what I have and it works for me. Your mileage may vary. SAW and CUTTING TIPS : 1) Bigger saws require bigger blades. Bigger saws make more noise and mess. Get a saw as big as you need – don’t buy a saw that can cut a basketball-sized meteorite if you don’t have access to such meteorites. Consider what you are going to need to cut and then decide what size saw to get. Keep in mind – half of the saw blade is under the table surface. So, a 6-inch saw has approx. 3 inches of useable cutting surface. This means the biggest meteorite you can properly cut in one pass on a 6-inch saw is about 3 inches in diameter. Replacement blades for larger saws are more expensive – another reason to get the proper size saw. 2) Avoid home improvement tile saws. I call these “Home Depot saws”. Yes, they are cheap. And yes, they will cut meteorites. But, the blades are thick and are made for cutting materials like ceramic tile. Loss is not much of a consideration when cutting tiles for your shower surround. But, using that thick tile blade on a meteorite will result in a wide cutting swath of lost material and money. It’s similar to swatting a fly with a baseball bat. If you want to lose half of every meteorite you cut, then buy a Home Depot saw. If you want a razor-thin cutting swath and minimal loss, get a true lapidary saw. Further proof of this is to take a look at any successful or experienced cutter – all of them use lapidary saws. (unless they cut irons, and then many use wire or band saws) 3) Don’t use tap water as a coolant. Tap water contains chlorine, which will contaminate the material and result in an unstable specimen. Use distilled water only. Distilled water is cheap. You can buy it at Walmart for less than $1 a gallon. With a small 6″ saw, a gallon goes a long way. It’s well worth the investment. Your specimens will thank you and the people who end up owning those specimens will thank you. 4) A .012″ kerf saw is plenty thin. Loss with a .012″ blade is very minimal. There are thinner blades available, but some of them will not work with all saws. For example, there are ultra-thin blades that are .006″ kerf. These blades are floppy and must be rotated at very high RPM’s to maintain their rigidity during cutting. Always check your saw motor speeds and the size of your pulley before using one of these ultra-thin blades. I have tried both, and the .012″ is plenty thin for me while still being rigid.


5) Everyone has their own ideas about what type of blade is best. I have tried the CBN blades (cubic boron nitride) that are supposedly designed for meteorites, and I didn’t like them. I find that diamond blades cut much better than CBN blades. So, IMO, forget about CBN blades. I use the DiaLaser brand diamond-coated blades and they work very well for me. My next couple of blade purchases will be experimental and I am going to try a sintered Pro-Slicer blade. I will report back in the future about the performance of those blades. 6) You can dry cut a meteorite. I just don’t recommend it for the majority of circumstances. If you have a very small and friable specimen that will not react well to getting wet, then you can dry cut. Keep in mind, dry cutting is hard on your blade and will result in a dull blade much faster than wet cutting. But, replacing a $30 blade might be a worthwhile trade off if you are cutting something fragile like Orgueil or something very valuable like a lunar or martian. 99% of the time, I cut wet. 7) Don’t be in a hurry. Cutting meteorites is not a race. The faster you feed the specimen into the saw, the more likely the blade is to wander, resulting in a crooked or wedged cut. Feed slowly, consistently, and evenly. Cutting in a hurry will only result in poor cuts that require more work later to clean up. It’s better not to leave a deep saw mark in the first place, than to spend time sanding it out later – which also results in more loss of material. 8) Don’t be afraid to hand cut specimens. I’ve hand cut hundreds of specimens and have yet to cut my hand or fingers. (*knock on wood*) There are a wide variety of options of available for clamping specimens into a vise or jig that will hold the specimen during cutting. These result in nice straight even cuts. But, all of them have tradeoffs. First, some specimens are odd shaped or small, and they are difficult (or impossible) to clamp into a vise or jig. If you don’t have a vise or jig, don’t let that stop you from slicing. With practice, it is possible to make straight even cuts by hand. I own a sliding vise for slicing, but I rarely use it. I find it much easier to just hold the specimen in my own hands and I get better feedback during cutting because I can feel the specimen during the cut. I’m not saying that hand cutting is the best way to cut, I’m just saying that it works for me in many situations. Ultimately, the specimen itself may dictate what method is used to cut it. 9) If you do cut by hand – cut slowly and evenly. Do not feed to hard or quickly. Do not force the cut. Let the blade do the work and watch the cutting swath closely, especially in relation to the blade. A thin blade can flex in subtle ways that is not readily apparent, and this can result in an uneven cut. When the blade wanders in this manner, you will end up with slices that have a taper or wedged profile. Also, don’t try to cut slices less than 1mm by hand, unless you can live with some breakage. Perhaps I am not experienced enough yet, but when I try to cut super thin slices by hand, it rarely works out well – that is where a feeding mechanism like a vise or jig comes in handy. 10) I guess I shouldn’t have to say this, but for the record – wear safety goggles or safety glasses while cutting. Even if you wear eyeglasses, be sure to wear some impact-rated eyewear over those. You will save your eyesight and you will prevent your eyeglasses from being damaged.


11) If your saw doesn’t have a light on it, get a “clamp lamp” or similar light fixture and set it up to illuminating the cutting area – with a focus on the blade zone. An adjustable desk lamp or shop lamp is good for this. If you want to safely make nice even cuts, you must be able to clearly see what you are cutting. Don’t assume your garage that is sufficiently lit to cut plywood is bright enough to do detail cutting on small valuable meteorites – throw more light on the subject. 12) Keep a magnet handy. I have a magnet on the end of a pencil-sized wooden stick. I prop this up on the saw table during cutting and it helps prevent specimens from getting stuck to the blade or falling into the tank. It’s also handy to collect crumbs and specks during cutting. If doing the latter, put a tiny ziploc bag over the end of the wand – to easily remove the crumbs later. 13) That little slot in the saw table that the blade passes through is too wide. Get a piece of thin, flat plastic and cut a small slit into it that will barely accomodate the cutting blade. Shape this piece of plastic to fit as a “template” that will drop onto the cutting table and can be removed easily. This will help prevent thin slices and pieces from dropping through the slot in the table and into the murky depths of the coolant tank. This little modification will pay for itself the first time is saves a thin slice of a rare fall from slipping into the tank. 14) Let the stone dictate where to cut. The shape, composition, and size of the stone will usually determine where to make the first cut. Carefully examine the stone prior to cutting and have a plan in mind – don’t just start cutting willy nilly. Take notice of any fractures in the stone which may effect the cutting – if you cut across or along a fracture, the specimen will often crumble or a slice may break. Take into account the weathering state of the specimen as this may also effect the cutting. 15) Often you will have two choices for cutting a specimen – cutting it in a way which will expose the most surface area on the slices, or cutting it in a way that will produce the most slices. An example is an elongated or thin (or flat) specimen – if you cut it lengthwise along the narrow profile, you will yield pieces with the most surface area, but you will get fewer pieces. If you cut it widthwise across the longest dimension, you will get a loaf of bread type of affair – many pieces, but with less surface area on each. Which route is best is determined by a variety of factors that the cutter decides. 16) Have your oven on at 225-240F in advance of cutting. After cutting, take the specimens and put them directly into the oven without delay. Bake for 4-6 hours minimum, to purge any moisture from cutting. Some people like to chase the water out with alcohol prior to baking, but I have had good results without using alcohol and now I rarely use it. 17) After you are finished cutting, empty the coolant tank immediately, and then spin the blade dry. Keep your saw clean and tidy and don’t let gunk build up between cuttings. 18) Saw marks are difficult to avoid and can be laborious to remove. As I said above, cut slowly and evenly and you will avoid deep saw marks. If you do get saw marks, keep some sandpaper handy in various grits from 100-600 – these grits are easiest to find at Wally World or home improvement stores. Start at 100 for deep saw marks on robust specimens, start at 200 or 220 if you have a more friable specimen. Place the


sandpaper on a hard, level, flat surface and then place the specimen “face down” onto the sandpaper – press firmly and sand the specimen in a circular motion. Don’t press too hard or the specimen may break or chip. 19) If you don’t own a lap polisher, keep additional sandpaper handy in grits from 600 to 1500. Jeweler’s rouge is also good to keep around – to achieve those hard glassy polishes. 20) If you aren’t in the mood, don’t cut. If you don’t cherish your cutting time and love what you are doing, it will show in the results. That’s it for now. I am off to do some more cutting and polishing. © Copyright 2010, Michael Gilmer. (www.galactic-stone.com) Please Share and Enjoy:


Meteorite-Times Magazine Meteorite Calendar – January 2011 by Anne Black Gefällt mir

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Meteorite-Times Magazine Henbury Iron Meteorite by Editor Gefällt mir

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Henbury Iron Meteorite found by Geoff Notkin while filming “Meteorite Men” with Steve Arnold in Central Australia. Specimen from AEROLITE METEORITES Please Share and Enjoy:


Meteorite-Times Magazine Stretched Lei Gong Mo Tektite by Editor Gefällt mir

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Stretch Lei Gong Mo from Zhanjiang Guangdong Province, China This specimen is 95 grams. Photo Credit: Daniel Sutherland


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Once a few decades ago this opening was a framed window in the wall of H. H. Nininger's Home and Museum building. From this window he must have many times pondered the mysteries of Meteor Crater seen in the distance. Photo by Š 2010 James Tobin

Meteorite Times Magazine  

2011 January Issue

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