Friday, 21 January 2011

Dead cow

I recently got a new batch of files back from the photographer and can put some more lines up on the website. You know. At some point... Actually, I have managed a couple of new ammonite entries. Took me a little while to remember how to format the images. I have great plans for when I get back, though. Longer term procrastination.

Among the additions will be little pieces of a mesosiderite from Chile. Mesosiderites are a type of stony-iron meteorite with an even balance of the familiar iron-nickel material and a silicate mixture. There aren't very many known falls, and these pieces are from one of the larger ones in the endearingly named Vaca Muerta area of the Atacama desert. Dead Cow. Not a holiday hotspot. That's one above. Not very exciting looking, I know, but it came from outer space! Plus as meteorite material goes, it's very cheap. I have a couple more meteorite lines to put up, too - Seymchan pallasite from Russia and relatively run-of-the-mill NWA chondrite stuff. Not NWA like Dr Dre. They're from North West Africa.

Anyone collecting in the Atacama deserves to find something. It's the driest place in the world, with almost no rain at all. Not a nice place to spend a lot of time. Nobody goes hunting for meteorites in the Bahamas, or in Milan. It has to be somewhere inhospitable. If it's not sand, it's ice. If it's not ice, it's mosquitoes. Meteorites aren't picky about where they fall, but it's easier to find a meteorite in the desert than in a forest, under a branch of Debenhams, or at the bottom of the deep blue sea. In the desert, anything that's not sand is worth checking out. Finding meteorites must make it well worthwhile being dusty and thirsty all the time. Thankfully.

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