[meteorite-list] A couple of questions

From: Bob Martino <martino.6_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:47:14 2004
Message-ID: <v03130300b82899c21bdd_at_[]>


Well, I've done it now. I opened my yap on DOME-L (the list for
planetarium professionals) about the so-called Leonid Meteorites. Next
thing I know, I'm agreeing to write an article for "The Planetarian" about
how to identify meteorites.

Actually, I'm writing from the assumption that any sample is _not_ a
meteorite until proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, I'm looking for
ways to _disqualify_ specimens. So I'm doing a little fact-checking and
asking for comments.

If it fails magnet-on-a-string, I say that it is obviously not a meteorite.
Can I really make this generalization? Are there meteorites without iron?
I would guess that Lunars and SNK's might not have iron. Anyone?

Another thing I say to look for is common terrestrial minerals that are
never found in space. I list quartz, mica, and fossils (Martian
microfossils notwithstanding). Yes, I know that it's silly to think that a
rock with a fossil sea shell in it is from outer space, buy you didn't talk
to that guy last year. What other very common earthly minerals are not
found in meteorites?

The other disqualification I mention is a porous nature (like furnace slag).

Any other ideas?

Bob Martino Can you really name a star?
"This is how men behave when they
 believe they have absolute knowledge."
               -Jacob Bronowski (speaking from the ashes of Auschwitz)
Received on Mon 26 Nov 2001 08:26:09 PM PST

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