Micrometeorites


KenByrneby: Ken Byrne

How many people have been struck by meteorites falling from the sky? The fact of the matter is that we all have been…repeatedly! While injuries from fallen meteorites of significant size are extremely rare, falling all arMicrometeoriteound  us and onto us each day are the meteorites smallest siblings, micrometeorites. Read the rest of this entry »


Meteorites


Ted Beyerby:  Ted Beyer

Ever since I was a kid, I have been fascinated with space. I would look up at the stars, and I just knew that other people were up there somewhere, looking back at our little point of light, and thinking the same kind of thoughts. When I was 7 years old, Neil and Buzz landed on the moon, and I was sure that somehow, when I grew up, I would get there, too. (incidentally, that’s me in the red on the right in the picture–and on the left? Well, that’s Buzz Aldrin!)Ted Beyer and Buzz Aldrin

Dreams can be dashed by reality and time, but the desire can still live on. I became a collector of all things space…and NASA…and then I found that collecting meteorites was not only possible, but also fascinating. Here are objects that spent millions of years wandering through space, only to endure a fiery entry through our atmosphere to end up, astonishingly, in my hands.

The more I researched these space travelers, the more I became fascinated with their vast variety and appearance. When most people think of meteorites, they tend to think of the Nickel – Iron type (or at least I did). Heavy metal, often pockmarked, objects, dull black or grey. Wasn’t I surprised to discover that the Irons make up only about 6% of FOUND meteorites, by number, and 11.3% by weight. In collections, they make up 27.7%. The Chondrites (one form of the stony meteorites) make up 75% by weight and 85% by number found!

Meteorite FragmentIn spite of this, my small collection still only has one stony. My one and only stony (so far); pictured to the right, is a slice of the Ghubra meteorite, which was found in Oman in 1954.  See the white spot on the bottom left side of the specimen?  I am assured by experts that the spot, called a chondrule, is older than the planet Earth by as much as 500 million years! Read the rest of this entry »