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Lissa: Fell 110 years before Czechoslovakia, and 182 years before the Czech Republic

Lissa is an L6 meteorite that fell in 1808. And that’s a long time ago by any meteorite collecting measurement. I feel fortunate to have a slice in my collection because Lissa fell when the ancestors on my father’s side lived in what was once Bohemia, then Czechoslovakia, and now the Czech Republic.


 This crust is so fresh, it doesn’t look a day over two hundred years old.


In general,  L6 chondrites are not the most colorful of meteorite matrices, but there are exceptions and Lissa is one of them. But then again, I wonder if the L6 classification might have been a little hasty. There are many visible roundish chondrules with distinct edges. The L seems within reason, but the six…. Five maybe? Four anyone?


As historic meteorites become smaller and ever harder to get, specimens such as Lissa become even more valuable. And not just as meteorites, but as something both physical and conceptual that ties us to the people who centuries before wondered many of the same things we do today about these magical stones from space.

Until next time….


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About the Author

Dr. Martin Horejsi is a Professor of Instructional Technology and Science Education at The University of Montana. A long-time meteorite collector and writer, before publishing his column The Accretion Desk in The Meteorite Times, he contributed often and wrote the column From The Strewnfields in Meteorite Magazine. Horejsi is currently a monthly columnist in The Science Teacher, a journal by the National Science Teachers Association.Horejsi specializes in the collection and study of historic witnessed fall meteorites with the older, smaller, and rarer the better. Although his meteorite collection once numbered over a thousand pieces with near that many different locations, several large trades and sales have streamlined the collection to about 250 locations with all but 10 being important witnessed falls.Many of the significant specimens in Horejsi's collection are historic witnessed falls that once occupied prominence in the meteorite collections of Robert A. Haag, James Schwade, and Michael Farmer. Other important specimens were acquired through institutional trades including those from The Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University, and other universities.