[meteorite-list] Cosmic Microscopy and Primary Colors
From: Rob and Colleen <iguana_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:48:13 2004
Hello again list-
After this post I'm gonna have to go see if my wife is still here.
I preface this secondly by saying that I am, as most all of you are, a
collector of meteorites. We all have a common interest in these funny
expensive rocks but that is where it ends. The factions, subcultures,
and driving forces behind us vary to the Nth degree. Myself, for the
childhood wonder of holding a shooting star, the history, beauty, myth
and lore. Science...a distant second place to all of these. H,L,LL, all
good to know but not my bag in this arena. I work in medicine, now there
is a poetic symphony of chemistry, biology, electricity that I can get
All of this put the idea of a buying microscope for meteorites on the
far back burner. Where is the next beautiful meteorite, the next
historic fall? If I got $400 in my pocket, that's $400 too much and one
meteorite too little. Microscope? Maybe down the road, I'll put it on
the Christmas list. Never did.
Then one day I had a bit to trade. Any takers? Michael Blood. Now
Michael is the man behind the Russian made LOMO MBC-10 stereo
microscope. Some good connections and a sense of when to buy has landed
him in good supply with a price to match. He made an offer. It almost
didn't happen. We e-mailed back and forth and I was obstinate, I wanted
to trade for cash and/or meteorites. The trade stock on his side reached
suicidal proportions but he finally convinced me when he dropped the
email bit and looked me up in the phone book and called. Most
unexpected, underhanded I mused. We agreed on the scope coupled with the
Tobin Polarascope Adapter, digital camera adapter and a handful of thin
sections. Way ahead in this deal, I still had to convince myself it was
a good move.
Now as I sit with the microscope to my left, looking like something out
of a sci-fi movie with all the equipment attached to it, I can safely
say I am convinced. Out of the box, some assembly required, I was, for
lack of a better word, stunned. Every piece in my collection made its
way through. A nice feature of the MBC-10 is that it works about 4
inches off the base, not like the high power scientific scopes where you
are in constant danger of destroying both slide and objective. All your
pieces from 1 kilo Sikhotes to dust sized Chassignys have an equal
opportunity. The binocular eyepieces provide a true 3D image so your
specks look like boulders.
Since then, every piece has gone through at least once more, some daily,
and I've had this thing for a good month.
The only way to describe the feeling you get when you see your
collection in this detail is...Try to imagine the world and what it
would be like if you found a new primary color. What would it look like,
wondrous, but you have no idea until you see it. A hand lens, a jewelers
loupe, not even close, forget it.
The Tobin Polarascope Adapter arrived yesterday and, though I have no
idea what those colors mean, a whole new sense of wonder. I showed a
friend, a non meteorite enthusiast. He said "What is it about humans
that makes looking at this sort of thing so absolutely amazing"? Then he
If you have read this far, consider this. You have not truly seen your
collection until you see it through a microscope. You haven't seen a
fly, a ladybug, or the face of a coin. Remember, meteorite science is
not my thing, still isn't. You can argue over isotopes, spectroscopy,
feldspars and petrologic subtypes all you want, I'll listen..but not
with a keen ear. I'll perk up at the final results of all your work
If you have $400 in your pocket waiting for that next meteorite, why not
invest in what you have already have and find beauty in a grain of sand.
Discover a new primary color.
In closing, Thank you Michael for forcing the issue.
And now, where's that wife of mine?
-- Rob Wesel -------------- We are the music makers...and we are the dreamers of the dreams. Willy Wonka, 1971Received on Thu 25 Oct 2001 04:38:14 AM PDT