[meteorite-list] Car Hit By Meteorite
From: Michael Blood <mlblood_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:42:00 2004
The way you kept going on, I was relieved when you stopped - I was sure
we were all going to have to get bullit proofing for our cars if you
went on for another couple of paragraphs!
-- Kelly Webb wrote: > > Hi, List, > > Elton Jones forwarded to me (Thanks, Elton!) this recent Associated > Press report about another automobile struck by a meteorite (in 1996) > that apparently has been verified by a geologist, Paul Weiblen of the > University of Minnesota. Has anyone else heard anything about this > incident or know anything about its validity? > > As you'll see the report (below) certainly sounds like a reasonable > description of a chondrite. Wonder what those "further tests" were? > > The AP report also says the car owner "has been in contact with a > dealer" about selling the meteorite. Is anybody on the List involved in > the dickering and when can we expect pieces of the Clayton car-killer to > pop up on eBay?! Well, alright, it wasn't really a "car-killer," only an > eighty gram stone that broke the windshield of a Geo Metro and was > itself broken in the process. > > In my post to the List about calculating the frequency of meteorite > infall from the data for targets that they strike, I wrote: "The data > for U.S. automobiles is 250% of expectation, suggesting a flux of 59,825 > meteorites per year..." > > That was based on four hits on U.S. automobiles per century. This > incident, if verified, would raise that to five hits per century (two of > them within four years!) or three times the number expected from an > infall of roughly 24,000 meteorites per year, which implies about 72,000 > meteorites per year actually fall. > > For the decade of the 1990's, taken separately, two hits is more > than five times the chance expectation for the "official" rate of 24,000 > meteorites per year, which would translate to an equivalent rate of > 125,000 meteorites per year! (To have a 50/50 chance of one U.S. car hit > in the 1990's would require a fall rate of about 63,000 meteorites per > year; two hits would require a rate double that.) > > Kelly Webb > > Here's the AP report: > --------------------------------------------------------------------- > > Rock That Damaged Car Was Meteorite > > (c) The Associated Press > > MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - It was no ordinary rock that broke Rick Wirth's > windshield four years ago. It came from outer space. And it's older > than the Earth. > > Wirth got confirmation that his rock is a meteorite from a geology > professor Monday. > > In 35 years at the University of Minnesota, professor Paul Weiblen > said he has seen thousands of rocks brought in by people who thought > they had meteorites. All of them were mere Earth rocks. > > But when last month he saw the rock that broke through the > windshield of Wirth's Geo Metro and split in two, Weiblen figured his > luck had changed. > > ``I feel every sample someone thinks might be a meteorite is worth > looking at,'' Weiblen said. ``But when I opened this package I knew.'' > > With a gray interior and ash-black exterior, the halves sported > telltale signs that indicated they were meteorites. Further testing of > the rocks, which together weigh 3 ounces and are 2 inches long, > confirmed it. > > For Wirth, the findings are vindication of his hunch about what > happened to his windshield as it was parked in his driveway in Clayton, > Wis., on Oct. 21, 1996. > > ``When I took it to work and told the guys that I had a meteorite, > they said, `Yeah, right,''' said Wirth, a welder. ``But I was pretty > sure it was a meteorite.'' > > But he didn't follow up on his hunch until his son took the specimen > to a rock show a few months ago. Someone who saw it said it was a > meteorite, and Wirth got in touch with Weiblen. > > Meteorite finds are rare. The Earth is bombarded with thousands of > meteoroids each year but most burn up as they hit the atmosphere. > > Scientists classify meteorites that reach the earth as ``falls'' if > their descent was witnessed or - like Wirth's - can be documented > through the damage they do. Only about 1,000 are known, Weiblen said. > More common are the ``finds,'' meteorites that came to Earth at an > unknown time. > > Wirth has been in contact with a dealer and may sell the two pieces > of his meteorite, which could fetch several thousand dollars. > > But even if the meteorite is sold, Weiblen said the chance to study > it has been priceless. Most meteorites, including Wirth's, were formed > 4.56 billion years ago, giving scientists a chance to examine something > older than the Earth. > > ``It's a little messenger that came in the quiet of the night,'' > Weiblen said. ``It's telling a story of what happened around the time > the sun evolved and even before the Earth was formed.'' > > AP-NY-07-25-00 1300EDT > > Copyright 2000 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP > news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise > distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated > Press. > > _______________________________________________ > Meteorite-list mailing list > Meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com > http://www.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/meteorite-list -- A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead. - Leo Rosten -- 1) "Hunger Site" Donates 3/4 cup of rice EACH DAY you visit & click http://www.thehungersite.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/HungerSite -- 2) "Rainforest Site" Donates 14.4sqare feet EACH DAY you visit & click http://www.therainforestsite.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/RainforestSite -- Michael Blood Meteorites for sale at: http://www.meteorite.com/Michael_Blood/catalog.htmReceived on Mon 15 Jan 2001 03:54:03 AM PST