The Flandrau – Part 2 – UA Mineral Museum

The University of Arizona Mineral Museum is a must-see attraction when you are in Tucson, especially if you are attending the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show.

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The meteorites in the UA Mineral Museum Collection are not stored in boxes, they are all on display at the Science Center.

This article is the 2nd Part of a two-part series highlighting the meteorite displays at “The Flandrau” (Science Center) on the University of Arizona campus in Tucson.
My previous article (the 1st part of this series) was titled, “The Flandrau – Science Center & Planetarium“, and was an overview of all of the facilities at “The Flandrau”.

 

 

This article will be focusing on the meteorite displays that are open to public viewing at the UA Mineral Museum in the Flandrau Science Center.

The “UA Mineral Museum” is presently housed in the basement of the Science Center, which is also known as Flandrau: The UA Science Center. The Science Center had its beginnings in 1972 when the University received a generous donation. The University decided to use the donation to fund facilities in the Astronomy Department that would increase public appreciation and understanding of science. The Mineral Museum was moved into the UA Science Center in 1993. The Mineral Museum has been on the UA campus since 1905.

What was originally called, “The Flandrau Planetarium”, has expanded over the years into a large circular, temple-looking building that now houses, not only the Flandrau Planetarium, but the Flandrau Observatory, the UA Mineral Museum, and the Science Center, comprising a Gift Shop and several exhibits both permanent and temporary. This building (located on the University of Arizona campus ) is now known as the “UA Science Center – Flandrau”. This building with its white domes is situated next door to the Kuiper Building, which is home to the Lunar & Planetary Lab (LPL). The LPL, a world-famous research facility, was the site of the 2010 Arizona Meteorite Exhibit.

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show is a venue for many meteorite dealers, which explains why so many meteorite collectors come to Tucson in the month of February. The prime objective of these collectors is to visit as many of the meteorite dealers as is possible, and to view the meteorites, which in most cases, are in display cases that are set up in the dealer’s motel room. Now if this is your objective when you visit Tucson, but you don’t schedule a visit to the UA Mineral Museum, then you will be missing out on one of the finest meteorite displays that Tucson has to offer!

For those who haven’t been to the Mineral Museum recently, you may be surprised by all of the renovations to the Flandrau – Science Center since the Flandrau Planetarium re-opened in April of 2010.
If you have visited the “The Flandrau” and the UA Mineral Museum in the past, you should visit it again and see the renovations for yourself. And if you haven’t seen UA Mineral Museum, I highly recommend that you take the time on your next visit to Tucson.

You can find a “MAP TO Flandrau Science Center” by going to the Arizona Guide website.

 


Gallery of Images – Bob’s Findings Article for March 2011

The UA Mineral Museum at Flandrau – Science Center

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The UA Mineral Museum is dedicated to providing public education, as well as, to the preservation of minerals and meteorites, while also serving the research needs of professionals, students, and collectors. The collection is world-wide in scope, but with specific emphasis on minerals from Arizona and Mexico.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The University of Arizona will mark the 56th Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in February with a celebration of historic Bisbee and an exhibition of rare Bisbee minerals at the Flandrau Science Center and the UA Mineral Museum. This exhibit, “Treasures of the Queen: The Amazing Minerals and Mystery of Bisbee, Arizona,” will run beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday, February 6, through May 31.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

An excellent display of oil paintings depicting Arizona mining are on exhibit in the Mineral Museum, known as The "Miner's Story" oil paintings.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

In 1973 O. Richard Norton was hired to become the Flandrau's first Planetarium director. Richard "Dick" Willey became director of the Planetarium in 1978. The Planetarium was opened to the public in 1975.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

Above is an image of the placards and photos in the display case that form the tribute to the first two directors of the Flandrau Planetarium, O. Richard Norton (1937-2009) and Richard Willey (1924-2010).

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts a close-up of the Udall Park (H4) meteorite that is in the display case along with the tribute to the first two Flandrau Planetarium Directors. This Arizona chondrite was the first meteorite classified by O. Richard Norton. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

Above is an image of the placard with the biography of O. Richard Norton (1937-2009), with information that was obtained from his obituary. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

Above is an image of the placard with the biography of Richard Willey (1924-2010), with information that was obtained from his obituary. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image shows one of the placards that were made in honor of Jim Smaller (1940-2009). Along with two other posters (one poster is a Jim Smaller biography, and the other poster describes the Sacramento Wash 005 meteorite), these form a tribute to the life and accomplishments of Jim Smaller.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

Above is an image of the placard with the biography of Jim Smaller (information obtained from his obituary) . "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts a poster that is in the display case with the "Jim Smaller Tribute" that describes the Sacramento Wash 005 (H-metal) meteorite. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts another poster that is in the display case with the "Jim Smaller Tribute" that describes the Sacramento Wash 005 (H-metal) meteorite. The placard correctly states that SaW 005 is an H-metal meteorite found within the Franconia (H5) strewn field, but the reference to the chondritic portion of SaW 005 being texturally similar to "H4" is confusing. The question is, how can only "2mm of silicate" be sufficient to supply evidence for a petrologic grade determination of "4" with confidence? "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image shows the label that identifies the "Wallapai" iron meteorite on display at the Museum. It was a pleasant surprise to be able to see up-close this meteorite. I have been researching the history of this meteorite, as well as the ethno-history of the tribe on whose reservation these two irons were found, and I have come to the conclusion that the two Wallapai (IID) irons were, long ago, transported from the Needles (IID) iron meteorite find locality. But this subject would be better delt with in a future Bob's Findings article.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts the "Wallapai Iron" meteorite on display at the Mineral Museum. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts the opposite-side, or back-side view of the "Wallapai Iron" meteorite on display at the Mineral Museum. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts an "end-view" of the "Wallapai Iron" meteorite. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts a view of the opposite end of this "Wallapai Iron" meteorite which has been cut and etched. The etch-pattern is clearly visible. Also visible, are curious lathe-shaped inclusions of sulfides and phosphides. (No, these are not scratches.) "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

This is another view of the etched surface on the cut-end of the "Wallapai Iron" meteorite. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts the display case containing samples of "IRON METEORITES" in the UA Mineral Museum collection. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts the display case containing samples of "STONY METEORITES". "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts the Arizona Meteorite display case. Depicted are samples of the Franconia (H5) meteorite and a graphite nodule from the Canyon Diablo iron, along with a map of Arizona meteorite localities. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts the right side of the Arizona Meteorite display case which contains samples of the "Adamana", Gold Basin, and Wickenburg stony meteorites, along with an endcut of the main-mass of the Weaver Mountain iron meteorite. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts specimens of the Winona (WIN) Meteorite contained in the Arizona Meteorite display case. "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

 

Copyright©2011 Robert Verish

The above image depicts the Arizona Meteorite display case containing Bob Haag's specimen of his "Adamana" meteorite (actually, a cast of his original meteorite find). "Click" on the above image in order to ENLARGE.

© Robert Verish 2010

The Flandrau - UA Mineral Museum is next door to the Kuiper Space Sciences Building.

 

Copyright©2006 Xanadu Observatory

Very interesting meteorite displays along with fantastic gems and mineral specimens!

What was originally called, “UA Mineral Museum at the Flandrau”, is now the center-piece to what has grown into a multifunctional temple to science, The UA Science Center – Flandrau.


References:

Link to website with “University of Arizona Mineral Museum”: History, and
Information: – The UA Mineral Museum
c/o Mark Candee
For more information:
mcandee@email.arizona.edu

From the Calgary Gem & Mineral Show website:
The University of Arizona Mineral Museum pictures
by admin on September 1, 2010
I was doing some work in Tucson, Arizona recently. No doubts, I paid a visit to the excellent mineralogical museum in the University of Arizona. Here are a few pictures to your attention:
The Flandrau Science Center, where the Museum occupies the lower level…

Link to a website for links to other museums in Arizona, to include:
UA – Mineral Museum UA Science Center, University of Arizona, Tucson.

Link to a website for the :
UA Science Center University of Arizona, Tucson

A website for links to images of other observatories in Arizona and California:
http://www.xanaduobservatory.com/

Get information about upcoming events at the UA Science: Flandrau on Twitter.

$1,000,000 donated to UA Mineral Museum – Tucson Citizen Morgue …
The head of the University of Arizona’s Science Center was in a great … in an endowment to support the Mineral Museum when it moves downtown with the UA Science Center

My previous articles can be found *HERE*

For for more information, please contact me by email: Bolide*chaser 

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About the Author

Robert Verish
Bob is a retired aerospace engineer living in Southern California, and has been recovering meteorites from the Southwest U.S. Deserts since 1995.
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