Meteorites, a piece of heaven
Catch a falling star and put it in your pocket
Just 10 years later a large meteorite fell about 80 km away from my town and, the skies being clear on that Spring night, I watched horror-struck with visions of a gelatinous creature oozing from the space rock.
These days I'm not afraid of meteorites, in fact I collect bits and pieces of them.
Collecting meteorites is a fascinating hobby. Buying meteorites is an investment
When you hold a meteorite in your hand, you're holding a fragment from the formation of the solar system.
Meteorites, Meteoroids and Meteors
From time to time, a rock falls from space and hits the Earth - this is a meteorite. If it doesn't collide with the Earth, it's a meteoroid.
When a meteoroid falls, it heats up in the atmosphere and leaves a trail of glowing molten rock. We see that trail, and we call it a meteor.
Small rocks can be destroyed by the atmosphere and never hit the earth but some bigger ones do and, when they hit, can make an incredibly big crater!
The Russian Meteor 15 February 2013
I don't know why the first still has a date of 2012 -as the frame opens you can see clearly that it's 15 February
Meteor Impact - The Arizona Crater
Meteor Crater in Arizona
Barringer Crater, near Winslow, Arizona, was formed about 50,000 years ago by an iron meteor about 30-50 metres in diameter. The crater itself is 1200 metres in diameter and 200 metres deep.
Computer Simulation of a Large Meteor (scary)
The Blob - Beware of the Blob! It's a joy to watch!
The ultimate 1950s teenagers-battle-creatures movie, in which a youthful Steven McQueen (who would shortly decide that "Steve" sounded better) and his girlfriend try to save their town from an undulating pink mass of jello which eats people!
And no one believes the teenagers!
There's a superb scene which quite frightened me at the time, when the Blob sneaks into a movie theatre, and the crowd stampedes out screaming, some with their 3D glasses still glued to their face. Believe me, watching that in a movie theatre was pretty creepy.
I almost broke my ribs laughing when I saw that film 46 years later. It's a classic!
A wonderful example of 1950s sci fi, it's not just a hoot to watch, it's actually very well done and a heck of a lot of wholesome fun.
(Don't be too shocked when the teenagers break curfew!)
The final showdown between the blob and a terrified family is superb.
A Meteor falling in Western Australia
A Meteor captured on camera as it burns across the sky and then falls as a meteorite.
Where do you find a meteorite?
Although not many meteorites are seen hitting the ground and most fall into the sea, thousands are found each year.
Meteorites can be found all over the world, but are easiest to spot in dry places, such as deserts , where they don't erode quickly and are less likely to be obscured by vegetation.
The Murchison Meteorite - I saw it fall!
A chunk of the Murchison Meteorite
The Murchison Meteorite fell on September 28, 1969 over Murchison, Victoria in Australia. A bright fireball was seen, separating into three fragments, followed by a large cloud of smoke.
Lots of specimens were found over an area larger than 13 sq. kilometres. These specimens weighed in from 7 kg, and one big chunk weighing 680 g broke through a roof and fell into a stack of hay. Over 100 kg of this meteorite were found.
What's so fascinating about the Murchison Meteorite is the presence of organic compounds. More than 92 different amino acids have been identified to date, but only 19 of these are found on Earth.
The remaining amino acids have no apparent terrestrial source. We're getting close to the Blob here!
Meteor Craters from Around the World
Background on Meteors
Find a Micrometeorite on your roof
Easier to find than you think
Micrometeorites can fall on your roof!
Rainwater will wash particles off of a roof and they collect at the drain spout. Tile roofs are best since they drain very well and don't produce many other sorts of particles or debris. However dust, plants and all other sorts of airborne material also collect at the drain spout.
To find the metallic micrometeorites, collect and dry some of the material from a deep bowl at the base of the drain spout.
Remove leaves and other debris, place the remaining material on a piece of paper and place a magnet under the paper.
Tilt and tap the paper so that all of the non-metallic particles fall off. Many of the remaining metallic particles are pieces of space dust!
Place the paper under a microscope. (You need high power to see them clearly).
Most of the particles are not from space, but the micrometeorites will show signs of their fiery trip through the atmosphere. They will be rounded and may have small pits on their surfaces.
- Rober Haag, Collector of Space Gems
Meteorites for sale and photos of meteorites from the personal collection of Robert Haag.
Have you had a close up and personal encounter with a meteorite?
Have you seen a meteorite fall?
I'm fascinated with Fossil Shark Teeth too
From the unimaginable distances of far off galaxies to the just as unimaginable distances of Time.
One of the most enduring success stories from evolution is that of the shark. They're older than dinosaurs, 200 million years older, and the story of their c...