Jump to content

  •  

CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.

Photo

this is interesting

This topic has been archived. This means that you cannot reply to this topic.
7 replies to this topic

#1 The bear

The bear

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,116
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2008

Posted 07 April 2008 - 05:09 PM

just how would one start off in this obsession. i mean i am having a very hard time getting a hold of fossils as i love paleontology this might be fun talk to me people...
doc
:)

#2 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama & Gold Star Award Winner

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 118,258
  • Joined: 14 May 2005

Posted 07 April 2008 - 05:35 PM

I had no interest in Meteorites, until I started reading about them on the forums. I am now totally hooked! What is wonderful about collecting them, is it's very inexpensive to get started. There are so many different specimans avail online, for just a few dollars.

They are so interesting, & to think, we can hold something in our hand that came from space!

Carol

#3 edwincjones

edwincjones

    Close Enough

  • *****
  • Posts: 14,776
  • Joined: 10 Apr 2004

Posted 07 April 2008 - 07:08 PM

just how would one start off in this obsession. i mean i am having a very hard time getting a hold of fossils as i love paleontology this might be fun talk to me people...
doc
:)


I first posted here 4/4,
ordered a Mars Rock 4/5,
ordered a used Norton's Rock from Space 4/6,
and won a free meteorite from Mike today.

This seems like an easy addiction to get into.

edj

#4 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama & Gold Star Award Winner

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 118,258
  • Joined: 14 May 2005

Posted 07 April 2008 - 07:52 PM

Edj: Hey Congratulations on winning the free Meteorite! Yes, it is addictive :grin:

Carol

#5 The bear

The bear

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,116
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2008

Posted 07 April 2008 - 08:38 PM

i just at least i hope added to getting some meteorites from glassthrower this is going to interesting
doc

#6 csa/montana

csa/montana

    Den Mama & Gold Star Award Winner

  • *****
  • Moderators
  • Posts: 118,258
  • Joined: 14 May 2005

Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:13 PM

You can get some really neat Meteorites at very small prices; that's what makes it so much fun.

Carol

#7 Glassthrower

Glassthrower

    Vendor - Galactic Stone & Ironworks

  • *****
  • Vendors
  • Posts: 18,610
  • Joined: 07 Apr 2005

Posted 07 April 2008 - 09:23 PM

Hi Doc!

I get asked that question a lot - how do I get started with collecting meteorites?

Collecting meteorites can be compared to telescope equipment : while it helps to spend a lot of money on premium equipment, one can still enjoy the sky with a low-cost telescope. One's enjoyment of the hobby is not solely dependent on financial investment - it helps, but it's not a requirement to get your foot in the door. :)

I started out buying a single, small, stony type meteorite from Morocco for $5. It was about the size of nickel. But just knowing that unassuming pebble was older than the Earth and came from space was fascinating to me - and it's fascinating to many others as well. I started reading and trying to educate myself on the subject and I find many parallels between space-rock collecting and "rockhounding" of the terrestrial variety. Indeed, many rock and mineral dealers also sell meteorites and vice-versa.

There are many types of meteorites - the more "common" stony and iron varieties and the much more rare exotic types which have been determined to come from asteroids (Diogenites are from Vespa), or even from Mars (Nakhlite, Shergottite). For common high-iron stony chondrites, there is literally TONS of this stuff on the market - and the key is quality of the offering and price. Heavily-weathered meteorites have lost most of the distinctive outer black "fusion crust" which is formed during the fiery descent through Earth's atmosphere. It is worn away by wind, rain and elements over time. Over centuries or aeons, they begin to "terrestrialize" and lose some of their aesthetic meteorite characteristics - in other words, an older weathered meteorite is still a meteorite, but it looks more and more like an Earth rock that is unusual or heavy for it's size. Fresher meteorites which still have that black fusion crust (or even a brown wind-polished residual crust) look distinctively unlike anything on Earth. Sure, a few types of Earth rocks look meteoritic at first glance, but they are not and can be ruled out very quickly by the informed person.

What I am getting at in my meandering way, is that there are not only several types of meteorites, but meteorites can also vary by condition. Yet another fact that influences market value of a given meteorite is whether or not that particular meteorite was a "witnessed fall", a "hammer/impactor", or "historic".

A witnessed-fall means what it says - somebody saw the meteor fireball in the sky and saw it strike earth or terminate shortly beyond the horizon. In such a case, it was never in doubt whether the specimen was meteoritic since it was witnessed to fall from the sky and strike Earth. Witnesses can be laymen, farmers, scientists, or anyone lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

A "hammer" or "impactor" is a meteorite that has been witnessed or documented to strike a manmade object or a living thing. The famous Peekskill meteorite that fell in the Peekskill area of New York in 1992. A bright fireball that was caught on video cameras across the town terminated in a loud bang - in a woman's driveway. A Ms. Knapp (age 18) went outside to see that her Chevy Malibu had been struck, apparently by a large stone from the sky. Well, her misfortune turned out to be a blessing in disguise - her car was worth much more than it's bluebook value to collectors because it had a meteorite hole in it.

Here is a photo of the car :

http://apod.nasa.gov...d/ap021118.html

If this had struck a person, and not a parked car, it would have been lethal. Some hammers have been known to strike living things, although to my knowledge a human being has never been killed by one in recorded history. Several animals, including a cow, a dog, and several llamas have been killed by meteorites. Hammers are doubly interesting to collectors because they are typically available in very limited quantities and they have the dubious distinction of impacting our world in a very bombastic way. Hammers are usually witnessed falls as well.

Historic meteorites are specimens with some meaningful historical significance. Weston USA is a good example - it is the first documented witnessed fall in the New World, having fell in 1807 near Weston Connecticut. It fell at a time when meteorites were just beginning to be accepted as extra-terrestrial. It caused quite a sensation. Another historic fall is "Ensisheim", which is the first documented witnessed fall in European/modern history in 1492. Most of this latter meteorite is held in institutional collections and state museums - precious little is available on the collectors market. Prices for a tiny piece of Ensisheim are on-par with that of Martian-origin meteorites. (or more!)

Then we have iron meteorites of various types, and to confuse things further (or inspire more!) there are the most beautiful of all : stony-irons and the pallasites. Choice pallasite, prepared properly is like stunning stained glass. It's a celestial swiss-cheese matrix of nickel-iron alloys, but instead of voids in the matrix there are golden translucent olivine crystals. (some of them are gem-quality peridot) When displayed in front of a bright backlight, the effect is spectacular. (the price can be too!)

And to make one final comparison to telescope gear - the market can be a wild-wild west. Think of the meteorite market as like the used-gear market. It involves doing your homework on the "product" (meteorite desired) and then doing your homework on the seller/vendor/dealer - making sure the seller is reputable and guarantees their product.

Taking all of this into account, it might sound like there is a learning curve to meteorites. And meteoritics is like astronomy in general in that one can delve as deeply as you want - you can just collect specimens based on aesthetic appeal to you, or you can dig deeper into the science and explore further. It doesn't take a professional astronomer or a wealthy man to enjoy the night sky - and neither is required to enjoy space rocks and irons. :)

Regards and clear falling skies,

MikeG

#8 The bear

The bear

    Apollo

  • *****
  • topic starter
  • Posts: 1,116
  • Joined: 11 Feb 2008

Posted 07 April 2008 - 10:07 PM

thanks Glassthrower i liked this information and will further research these items, i will look into the books involved through inter-library loan as i always do, and decide which ones i will purchase. this is new to me as i just found out about this and sounds fascinating to me. as i am very interested in asteroids and such and planetary work this can go hand in hand.
doc


CNers have asked about a donation box for Cloudy Nights over the years, so here you go. Donation is not required by any means, so please enjoy your stay.


Recent Topics






Cloudy Nights LLC
Cloudy Nights Sponsor: Astronomics