Archive for the ‘Meteorites’ Category

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In Search of Stardust currently less than $3 new

April 22, 2018

I don’t know how or why this is happening, but Jon Larsen’s excellent book In Search of Stardust: Amazing Micrometeorites and Their Terrestrial Imposters, which originally retailed for $24.99, is currently available on Amazon for $2.37. If you have Amazon Prime, the shipping is free, so this really nice full-color hardback book is cheaper than…well, just about everything. I’ve had a copy since it first came out and I just ordered another one on general principles. Thinking about ordering a stack to pass out to people who are interested in space, science, or just, like, things.

I don’t know how long this ridiculous sale will last, but I suggest you do the right thing. Here’s the link.

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A little piece of Mars

July 21, 2016

Mini Museum no 3614 DSCN1469

This is my Mini Museum: a collection of tiny samples of rare and interesting specimens from the history and prehistory of Earth and the solar system. There’s a lot of stuff in here that is very satisfying as both a paleontologist and an amateur astronomer. Highlights for me are the preserved woolly mammoth meat, the fiberglass casts of Diplodocus bones used as the Krayt Dragon skeleton in Star Wars: A New Hope, and, above all, the tiny piece of the Martian meteorite Zagami. It’s labeled “Martian atmosphere” because the meteor is known to contain tiny bubbles of Martian atmosphere in pockets of melted glass (Marti et al., 1995).

The specimens are embedded in a single block of acrylic that is 5 inches tall, 4 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. At $299 it’s not cheap, but it’s a pretty astounding collection of objects at any price. There is also a smaller, 10-specimen edition for $99. It doesn’t include Zagami or the Krayt Dragon, but it does have asteroid fragments, Stegosaurus plate, woolly mammoth meat, fulgurite, and the moon tree sample. These will sell out at some point, so if you’re interested in picking one up, don’t tarry.

Reference

Marti, K., Kim, J.S., Thakur, A.N., McCoy, T.J. and Keil, K., 1995. Signatures of the Martian atmopshere in glass of the Zagami meteorite. Science, 267(5206), p.1981.