MARMET- METEORITES

PETER MARMET METEORITE COLLECTION - US falls / finds

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WHAT IS A METEORITE ?
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THIN SECTIONS - PART 2
HISTORIC METEORITES 1: Switzerland, Germany, Austria.
HISTORIC METEORITES 2: France: 1492-1841
HISTORIC METEORITES 3: France: 1842-1934
HISTORIC METEORITES 4: England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland.
HISTORIC METEORITES 5: Italy, Spain.
HISTORIC METEORITES 6: Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Norway.
HISTORIC METEORITES 7: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Latvia, Ukraine
HISTORIC METEORITES 8: Romaina, Serbia, Croatia, Estonia, Bosnia-Herzeg.
HISTORIC INDIAN METEORITES
PETER MARMET METEORITE COLLECTION - US falls / finds
H. H. NININGER and Canyon Diablo
From MOON and MARS
FAMOUS IRON METEORITES
Libyan Desert Glass
Meteorites from Antarctica
The Allende Meteorite (Mexico)
The Hoba Meteorite (Namibia)
PING PONG IN SPACE
MUNICH 2004
MUNICH 2005
MUNICH 2006
MUNICH 2007
ENSISHEIM METEORITE 2005 part 1
ENSISHEIM METEORITE 2005 part 2
ENSISHEIM METEORITE 2006 part 1
ENSISHEIM METEORITE 2006 part 2
ENSISHEIM METEORITE 2007 part 1
ENSISHEIM METEORITE 2007 part 2
ENSISHEIM METEORITE 2008 Part 1
ENSISHEIM METEORITE 2008 Part 2
Ensisheim Meteorite 2009 part 1
Ensisheim Meteorite 2009 part 2
ENSISHEIM 2010
Ensisheim 2011

Here you see pictures of US meteorite finds and falls: Weston, Honolulu, Tucson, Willamette, Holbrook, Cumberland Falls, Johnstown, Piñon, Pasamonte, Kendleton, Peña Blanca Spring, Peekskill, Park Forest and New Orleans.

WESTON 1807 (CONNECTICUT)

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Weston H4, CT U.S.A., fell 1807 December 14, 6.3 g

At 6:30 on the morning of December 14, 1807, a blazing fireball was seen traveling southwards in Vermont and Massachusetts. Three loud explosions were heard over the town of Weston in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Stone fragments fell in at least six places. To this day, it's called the "Weston meteorite“, though not a speck of it fell in what's now Weston. It actually struck the ground on the eastern side of Easton. It was the first recorded meteorite fall in North America. People before then did not believe that rocks could just fall from the sky. 


Two or three days after the fall, Professor Benjamin Silliman heard of it and - with Professor James L. Kingsley - immediately went to Weston to investigate. They visited every locality where stones had been reported to fall and interviewed many eyewitnesses. Several large stones had been smashed to bits on the rocky ground, others were kept by local residents as pieces of memorabilia.


Here is part of the report by the two professors:

An account of the Meteor which burst over Weston in Connecticut, in December 1807, and of the falling stones on that occasion; by Professors Silliman and Kingsley.


On the 14th of December, 1807, about half past 6 o‘clock, A.M., a meteor was seen moving through the atmosphere, with very great velocity, and was heard to explode over the town of Weston, in Connecticut, about 25 miles west of New Haven. Nathan Wheeler, Esq., of Weston, one of the justices of the court of common pleas for the county of Fairfield, a gentleman of great respectability, and of  undoubted veracity, who seems to have been entirely uninfluenced by fear or imagination, was passing at the time through an inclosure adjoining his house, and had the opportunity of witnessing the whole phenomenon. From him the account of the apperance, progress and explosion of the meteor, is principially derived. The morning was somewhat cloudy. (...) The attention of Judge Wheeler was first drawn by a sudden flash of light, which illuminated every object. Looking up he discovered in the north a globe of fire, just then passing behind the cloud, which obscured, though it did not entirely hide the meteor. In this situation its appearance was distinct, and well defined, like that of the sun seen through a mist. (...) Its apparent diameter was about one-half or two-thirds the apparent diameter of the full moon. When it passed behind the thinner clouds, it appeared brighter than before; and when it passed the spots of clear sky, it flashed with a vivid light...

(From: American Journal of Science and Arts (2nd series); Vol. 47)


After reading the report by the two professors, President Thomas Jefferson reputedly exclaimed: "It's easier to believe that two Yankee professors would lie than that stones would fall from heaven!"

HONOLULU 1825 (HAWAII)

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Honolulu L5 vnd.; Oahu, Hawaii USA, fell 1825 Sept. 27, 0.366 g, ex coll. R. Elliott

On September 27, 1825 several stones weighing 3 kg in total fell near Honolulu, Oahu Island, Hawaii, USA.
On September 26, 1825, a Russian expedition of circumnavigation on the ship Predpriyatie (Enterprise) reached the Hawaiian islands.
Its captain, Otto Kotsebu: Next morning after we arrived we became witnesses of a fantastic natural phenomena which we could see from the beginning to the end. In a crystal-clear sky a solid black cloud formed above the island. The darkest part of this mysterious cloud loomed above the town of Ganaruro. A total calm suddenly changed to a storm wind blowing from the northeast. Simultaneously a terrific noise came from the cloud, as if a multitude of ships had begun firing their cannons. Thunderclaps followed each by other, as if opponents were exchanging broadsides. This noise stopped after several minutes, when two stones fell into the streets of Ganaruro, breaking into several pieces when they struck the Earth. People picked up these pieces, which were still warm.


TUCSON 1850 (ARIZONA)

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Tucson IRUNGR ATAX; Arizona, USA, found 1850, 2 masses @ 975 kg, part slice 2.75 g

The above slice was cut from piece #122a.
H. H. Nininger had a 940 g crescent-shaped slice (labelled #122a) in his collection (H. H. Nininger, The Nininger Collection of Meteorites, American Meteorite Museum, 1950). In 1960 the Arizona State University (ASU) purchased the Nininger Collection.

On July 1, 1960 the American Meteorite Laboratory was established by Glenn and Margaret Huss (the daughter of H. H. and Addie Nininger) as successor to the American Meteorite Museum, formerly operated by Margarets parents. Because Niningers collection was sold to ASU, G. and M. Huss had no collection now, but a limited number of meteorites on consignment for distribution from Nininger, e.g. a 47.3 gram part slice of the Tucson meteorite with the number H299.1 (Glenn I. Huss, The Huss Collection of Meteorites, Denver CO, 1976).

In 1985 the American Meteorite Museum states a specimen #122a of 574.2 g and a piece of #122a.1 of 148. 0 g which was obviously cut from the #122a specimen (Ch. F. Lewis, J. A. Wrona, C. B. Moore: Catalog of Meteorites, Center for Meteorite Studies, Arizona State Univ. 1985).

So the above small slice was traded with ASU but comes originally from the famous H.H. Nininger collection.

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Left: old scetch of the Tucson Ring, right: both masses at the Smithsonian

Two masses of the Tucson meteorite were found in 1850, but native people must have known about these masses of iron for centuries before that. One was the ring-shaped Irwin-Ainsa mass, the second the paired, bean-shaped, Carleton mass. The meteorites consist of 92% iron with 8% silicate inclusions, which is very high for an iron meteorite. Tucson may be the result of an impact between an iron asteroid and a stony asteroid. The parent body of the Tucson meteorite cooled rapidly, so there is no Widmanstätten pattern present. The Tucson meteorite is classified as an ungrouped ataxite iron with silicate inclusions.

Each of the Tucson masses has its unique history. The first recovered and the larger of the two is the 688 kg ring-shaped mass, also called the Ring or Signet, Ainsa and Irwin-Ainsa Meteorite at various times in history: The earliest account of the meteorites is by a Sonoran official, Jose Francisco Velasco, who says several iron masses were found between Tucson and Tubac, in Puerto de los Muchachos and at the foot of Sierra de la Madera. One mass, he said, was taken to Tucson. Later, the second known mass, Carleton, was also transported from the mountains to Tucson. Both masses had been used as anvils in blacksmith shops.The Mexican troops left Tucson in 1856, leaving behind the famous meteorites. In 1860, the Smithsonian Institution asked Lieutenant Irwin, an army physician and amateur naturalist in the area, to go to Tucson to recover the Tucson Ring meteorite. He found it, pulled it out of the ground, and entrusted it to a man who was to go to the coast and deliver it by ship to the museum. The man carried out his mission, but told the Smithsonian that his great-grandfather had discovered the meteorite. The family name, Ainsa, was given to the meteorite. Irwin attempted for many years to re-establish the truth before the deception was finally recognized.

The ring shape with the huge hole of the Tucson meteorite is unique among the large meteorites. What caused the huge hole is difficult to say. One explication might be that a huge nodule of troilite had occupied this cavity. When the parent body passed through the atmosphere, this less-resistant metal melted.

The other mass, originally weighing 287 kg, is named the Carleton Meteorite because it was confiscated by Colonel Carleton during the Civil War and sent to San Francisco.

Today, both fragments of the Tucson meteorite can be admired at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington, D.C. in the Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals.


WILLAMETTE 1902 (OREGON)

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Willamette IIIAB Om; OR USA; found 1902, 14.7 g etched slice (ex. coll. ETH / JNMC Zurich)

In 1902, in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, a Welsh immigrant named Ellis Hughes discovered the Willamette meteorite but unfortunately it was on land owned by the Oregon Iron and Steel Company. With the help of his young son and a horse, Mr. Hughes moved the meteorite in secret to his own land, which was many weeks of hard work to cover a 1200 m distance. Mr. Hughes then claimed ownership and showed it to the public for a few cents entrance fee. Unfortunately one of the first visitors was a man from the Oregon Iron and Steel Company and so the moving was discovered, and after a lawsuit, the company became owner.

The meteorite was purchased by Mrs. William E. Dodge in 1905, for $26,000 (an equivalent value of more than half a million $ today) and donated to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City where it is now on display.

In old times the meteorite was reputedly a venerated object by Native American tribes in that area, so the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, a group of Native American tribes, claimed to have used the meteorite to perform an annual ceremony. These tribes requested that the meteorite has to be returned. Finally they reached an agreement with the museum in 2000, allowing tribal members to conduct their private ceremony once a year.
In 2007, Representative John Lim introduced a resolution that would demand that the museum has to return the Meteorite to Oregon, but fortunately the Confederated Tribes said they were not consulted, did not support the resolution and were content with the arrangement with the museum.

Here you will find more infos about the Willamette meteorite:

Willamette meteorite, Rose Center, NYC

Willamette meteorite, Agreement

Henry A. Ward, the Willamette meteorite

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Old glass(!) slide (8 x 10 cm) showing the Willamette meteorite and two kids.

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Old Postcard: The Willamette Meteorite , American Museum - Hayden Planetarium, NYC

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Old photo (28 x 35cm): Willamette meteorite and unknown lady.

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Old coloured b/w postcard: Meteorite that Fell at Oregon City, Oregon


HOLBROOK 1912 (ARIZONA)

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Holbrook L/LL6; fell in the USA 1912 July 19, 2.7 g/3.0 g/3.4 g and 3.5 g (ex. AMNH, N.Y.)

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Holbrook L/LL6, AZ USA, 38.3 g with original label


CUMBERLAND FALLS (KENTUCKY)

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Cumberland Falls, USA 1919, Aubrite, 2.96 g


JOHNSTOWN (COLORADO)

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Johnstown Diogenite; CO USA, fell 1924, 1.934 g


PIÑON (NEW MEXICO)

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Pinon IRUNGR ATAX anom; found in NM USA in 1928, 1.6 g, w. orig. envelope, ex coll. JNMC/ETH Zurich.


PASAMONTE (NEW MEXICO)

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Pasamonte Eucrite; NM USA, fell 1933, 1.626 g


KENDLETON (TEXAS)

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Kendleton L4 br.; TX USA; fell 1939 May 2, cut fragment 21.6 g, ex JNMC, Zurich.


PEÑA BLANCA SPRING (TEXAS)

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Peña Blanca Spring AUB, TX USA, Fell 1946, 10.8 g



PEEKSKILL (NEW YORK)

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Peekskill H6 mbr.; fell in NY USA 1992 October 9. 1.70 g (ex coll. A. Lang, N.Y.))


PARK FOREST (ILLINOIS)

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Park Forest, USA, L5, March 26, 2003, 9.9 g


NEW ORLEANS (LOUISIANA)

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New Orleans H5; USA, fell through a roof (arrow!) on Sept. 23, 2003, 12.2 g (ex Hupé Coll.)

p.marmet@thinsections.ch - IMCA member # 2747