[meteorite-list] A Piece Of The Heavens

From: Mike Farmer <farmerm_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:43:31 2004
Message-ID: <3B4DDE76.97F8E346_at_concentric.net>

WOW, $1 gram to start for an iron! I have alot of them ill sell Canada for that
starting price. A 92 kilo Gibeon sell for $1 gram will make me very happy!
Mike Farmer

Ron Baalke wrote:

> http://www.hamiltonspectator.com/news/435248.html
> A piece of the heavens
> By Kate Barlow
> The Hamilton Spectator
> July 5, 2001
> Joseph Mahe was busy clearing his fields of stones forced to the surface
> during the spring thaw when he came upon a large, rust-coloured rock.
> His first thought, that morning in 1999, was of the damage it could do to
> his farm machinery.
> "But when I got hold of it, it was much heavier than an ordinary rock," the
> farmer recalls. "I thought this is something different."
> Joseph and his wife Marcelle often came across interesting rocks, enough
> that Joseph has earned the nickname Fred -- as in Flintstone. In the 34
> years on their Hagersville farm, they have uncovered arrowheads and fossils
> by the score. But never anything like this.
> Joseph tossed the strangely heavy rock onto his tractor, finished his stone
> clearing and returned to the barn where he called a neighbour.
> They took a hammer to the rock.
> It bounced off.
> The rock made a dull metallic sound.
> The two hit it again, and again. Eventually, metal showed through the
> surface. Perhaps it was a piece of farm machinery from years past. The
> neighbour joked that Christopher Columbus must have dropped it when he
> passed by.
> But Marcelle, on her return from grocery shopping, declared, "That's a
> meteorite!"
> The previous winter, Marcelle had read a book on the minerals of her home
> region of Brittany, France. One of the illustrations of a meteorite looked
> just like the rock her husband and neighbour were puzzling over.
> "Let's just say they were skeptical," says Marcelle tactfully of the
> men's reaction.
> But they couldn't come up with a better theory, so they sought advice from a
> relative who had been a mineral collector since boyhood. He felt the chances
> that it was some kind of meteorite were high enough to consult an expert.
> The family arranged to take the 30-kilogram specimen to the 1999 Rockhound
> Gemboree, Canada's largest mineral and gem show, held every August in
> Bancroft. They will never forget the excited expression on Richard Herd's
> face, as the curator of Canada's National Meteorite Collection bent to
> examine the Mahes' rock.
> He didn't give them a definitive answer, but said he felt it could be a
> meteorite and that he would make arrangements to have it tested.
> "We were all pretty excited," says daughter Michelle Holmes. "You can go to a
> (mineral) show and buy them, but how often can you say I found a meteorite?"
> Before Herd actually saw the Mahes' find, he was skeptical. Many people
> approach him with a rock they believe is a meteorite.
> "Nine hundred and ninety-nine times out of 1,000, it's not," he says.
> "But when I tried to lift (the Mahes' find), I thought, it's entirely
> possible it is one. It looked good, the colour looked good and it was magnetic."
> He got permission from the Mahes to take the rock back to Ottawa where it
> was photographed and a small piece removed before it was returned to them
> the following year.
> Steve Kissin, a geology professor at Thunder Bay's
> Lakehead University, learned of the Hagersville meteorite in the fall of
> 1999 at a meeting of the Canadian Space Agency's Meteorites and Impacts
> Advisory Committee and was later sent two small slices cut from the rock.
> Kissin's first task was to wash the pieces with an acid solution so that,
> when viewed under a specially designed microscope, he could detect kamacite
> and taenite, two forms of iron present in meteorites but rare on earth.
> The acid test of authenticity was spotting tiny crystals known as
> Schreibersite. Their distinctive structure and pattern proved beyond doubt
> that the slices of metal were from outer space. Kissin also observed bands
> called Neumann lines, indicative of the cosmic shock following a collision
> by the meteorite's parent body.
> "That's not something found in terrestrial rocks, but which is quite common
> in meteorites," said Kissen.
> The professor's final test, before the samples were dispatched south to
> Activation Laboratories of Ancaster for detailed analysis, was to measure
> the hardness of the metal to determine the degree of cosmic shock and
> prepare two "standards" to measure the Hagersville samples against, one of
> steel and another from a well-known meteorite.
> Activation Laboratories has laboratories in the United States and South
> America and customers in 60 countries. It has a worldwide reputation for
> chemical, physical and metallurgical analysis of everything from meteorites
> and mining exploration samples to fire debris and failure analysis for the
> aircraft and automobile industries.
> The company's client list reads like a Who's Who of the global mining
> community. It has helped discover copper in Chile, diamonds in the Northwest
> Territories and gold in Mexico. Its labs can take a leaf from a tree and
> tell you what's in the ground below. Its patented technology can analyse a
> soil sample and detect what lies 400 metres below the surface.
> "We're leaders in the world in fine analysis," says company founder and
> owner Eric Hoffman.
> A meteorite sample is placed first in a plastic capsule and made radioactive
> in McMaster University's nuclear reactor before returning to the company's
> laboratories for what's called instrumental neutron activation analysis.
> This involves placing the sample in what's called a germanium detector --
> resembling a large barbecue propane tank -- which measures the presence and
> quantity of 13 different minerals. The proportion of those elements will
> determine the kind of meteorite. The sample is then disposed of at Canada's
> nuclear laboratories at Chalk River.
> Once the Ancaster analysis was completed, the results were sent to Kissin.
> He decides whether a meteorite is a new find, part of another meteorite, or
> one that has been transported from its original site.
> After completing his analysis, Kissin must submit his results and the
> proposed name to that august body, The Meteoritical Society, formed in 1933
> to promote the study of extraterrestrial materials and their history.
> The Mahes haven't decided what they will do with their meteorite -- sell it,
> donate it to the national rock collection or keep it as a keepsake. The
> value of a meteorite depends on how unusual it is, but starts at $1 a gram.
> For now it is kept under lock and key in a safe place, far from the farm
> where it lay, perhaps since the world was young. "This is out of this
> world," says Marcelle.
> You can contact Kate Barlow by e-mail at kbarlow_at_hamiltonspectator.com or
> by telephone at 905-526-3408.
> Marcelle and Joseph Mahe of Hagersville show off their 30-kilogram meteorite
> found on their farm. Photo: Kaz Novak, the Hamilton Spectator
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Received on Thu 12 Jul 2001 01:29:26 PM PDT

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