The Ultimate Prop: A Real Meteorite

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bcgd

Well-Known Member


That's right. It's called a Sikhote-Alin, iron meteorite and this little guy has quite the history. It was part of the largest fall recorded in history. On February 23, 1947 at 10:30am it fell from the clear blue sky along with an estimated 23,000 kilos of debris. The smoke trail was seen from 300km. Its twisted shape is common in violent breakups.

It's composed of molten iron and nickel and weighs just over 31grams. It's got some heft for its size.

So how did I get it? Well on a recent trip to Northern California my wife dragged me into yet another jewelry store. The owner seeing I was bored out of my skull called me over to a display case. It's was filled with what looked like molten metal or slag. He took out a piece about the size of a tennis ball and handed it to me. I just about dropped it not expecting the weight it packed. It was then he told me what it was. I was totally blown away. I knew instantly I had to have one. I pulled up a stool and he proceeded to give me a brief geology/history lessons on the piece as well as others he had from the same fall ranging in size from a thimble to one that was about the size of a REAL big potato that went for $23k. Guess which one this ain't.

I can't begin to describe the feeling of holding it knowing it was not made by man or earth but the heavens. It's real mind blower. :eek
 

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AndySertin

Well-Known Member
That's really sweet, I remember wanting one soon after seeing it Jasper or Banff, thing was soooo very expensive though... I remember reading that any rock from space runs near 1K per pound.... Sound right to you guys?
 

p0sitr0nic

Well-Known Member
I own a tectite, which they believe is a piece of the moon turned to glassish goo by the atmosphere,t then resolidified... its not as cool as starmetal, but ... its all i have...
 

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bcgd

Well-Known Member
Originally posted by AndySertin@Apr 17 2006, 07:26 PM
That's really sweet, I remember wanting one soon after seeing it Jasper or Banff, thing was soooo very expensive though... I remember reading that any rock from space runs near 1K per pound.... Sound right to you guys?
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Nah. It does depend on the fall it's from, composition, and rarity. In the iron variety like mine shape adds value as well as orientation (how it fell). Ones with holes can go for big bucks. Currently ones like mine go for $3.54 a gram.
 

gjustis

Well-Known Member
Actually, a tektite forms when a meteorite strikes the surface of the earth with enough velocity to "fuse together" the mineral components of both the meteorite and the earth itself. It's like a little piece of earth-space-glass. :)

My "better half" and I are actually in the planning stages of an online mineral and meteorite mini-shop....in case anyone's interested. ;) We'll have whole specimens, as well as cross-sected pieces. Much emphasis on meteorites and geodes, as those are what I, personally, enjoy collecting.

It's interesting to note that, in many cases, the mineral composition of the meteorite creates gemmy crystal areas within the piece....a cross section sometimes reveals this crystal structure, and you can shine a light through the segment. Fairly cool, IMO.

bcgd - Very cool piece. It's amazing to know that the meteorite you're holding is, indeed, a fragment of another part of the universe, something outside the grasp of life on earth. Interplanetary collectible, no doubt.
 

Betamin

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Cool. There is a junk shop down at my old hometown that I need to check out the next time I'm there. They have fossils and assorted other stuff there, and most likely would have meteorites there. Next time I'm down, I think I'll see if they have anything...
 

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hydin

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
cool....

i have a few actual "meteor rocks" in the collection, and bought my mom (astronomy nut) a few over the last couple of years. nothing says "easy gift" better than "hey mom, this came from outer space." for her :lol

still trying to figure out when we are gonna find a green crystalline one :lol

i love these things. its just.... cool to have something that isnt actually from "this world". when i got my first one, i remember feeling claustrophobic all of a sudden, because no matter what i did, i would forever be stuck on this planet. it was a strange (and freaky) thing to realize.

my favorite pieces so far have got to be tektites. its just, awesome to think this stuff (some of it anyway) got flung up into orbit, then came BACK down to smack into the planet. its like a double layered meteorite. we have small explosions, and big explosions (think atom bomb tests), but i have yet to see a man made explosion that flung anything into orbit that wasnt attached to a rocket booster at the time. it kinda sinks home the idea that whatever cause it to get smacked that damned hard had to be a: REALLY dense and heavy, and b: REALLY fast moving.

its cool, yet humbling. kinda a strange feeling to have about a rock. just think, that specimen you have is rarer than diamonds ;), probably a hell of a lot cheaper too :lol

odd note/fact. jim bowie (the guy who made the knife famous) was rumored to have his knife made out of meteoric iron. nifty :)

chris
 

SITHcamaro

Well-Known Member
Dude, that guy just sold you some burnt up molded jewelry that he goofed on. :lol
j/k Cool. Now if only we could get our hands on moon rocks.
 

acerocket

Well-Known Member
As a wedding gift, my wife gave me a watch with a Gibeon meteorite face (and a titanium case and band). For our first anniversary, I got the matching Gibeon meteorite ring. I have a few other very small meteorite samples as well as a piece of Mars and the Moon. The Mars and Moon pieces are very small and very expensive. If you do a google search you can usually find someone who is selling tiny mounted pieces of them. Not much to look at but the wow factor when you tell someone it is from the Moon or Mars is great.
 

tripoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have quite a collection. Been collecting them since the early 80's when I first read in discovery magazine about Robert Haag traveling around the world like Indiana Jones looking for meteorites. I am a local school as well a NASA regional resource educator on them. :)
I have about 30 different fall samples as well a lunar meteorite. Fun to talk about them and see someones reaction as they realize they are holding something from space virtually unchanged for billions of years in their hands.
 

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Kylash

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
My uncle once made a samurai sword tsuba out of a cut and detailed meteorite he spent close to $3,000 on. Crazy guy.
 

bcgd

Well-Known Member
Originally posted by tripoli@Apr 18 2006, 07:00 AM
I have quite a collection.  Been collecting them since the early 80's when I first read in discovery magazine about Robert Haag traveling around the world like Indiana Jones looking for meteorites.  I am a local school as well a NASA regional resource educator on them. :) 
   I have about 30 different fall samples as well a lunar meteorite.  Fun to talk about them and see someones reaction as they realize they are holding something from space virtually unchanged for billions of years in their hands.
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The guy I bought it from is friends with Haag and gave me an autographed copy of Haag's book. You're right about the reaction of people. Yesterday at work I handed it to people and then told them what it was. The look on there faces was great.

The guy at the store was right. There's a magical quality in these things that makes you want more. Now I want to get one from Calcalong Creek and one from the fall in Tatahouine (of course). :)
 

tripoli

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Definitely get the three different types, a pallisite for a stony-iron, Gibeon or Meteor Crater AZ etched is cool to have and inexpensive for irons and Murchison is definitely a great rock as it predates our solar system for a carbonaceous stone. The ones named are avaiable in high enough quantities making them cheaper to get.
 

teecrooz

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by hydin@Apr 18 2006, 12:22 AM

still trying to figure out when we are gonna find a green crystalline one :lol

chris
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Chris, you should look into getting some moldavite.
 

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