In 1933, a 2.25kg meteorite was discovered in the community of Marsland, Nebraska. While not technically Mars, Marsland is, you have to admit, a pretty cool name for a meteorite even if only an H5.
Marsland was not named after the wonderful Red Planet, but instead for Thomas Marsland, the general freight manager for the railroad at the time of Marsland’s founding on August 28, 1889.
Marsland shares not only my birth state, but also my current time zone. Located in the far northwest corner of Nebraska, it makes the cut into Mountain Standard Time that stretches all the way to eastern Oregon while any meteorite witnessed to fall slightly east of Marsland will be recorded in Central Standard Time.
From a collecting standpoint, Marsland is a find with a reasonably low TKW and equally low distribution. As an H5 ordinary chondrite Marsland holds the second most common classification after the L6 chondrites. While very few non-falls find friendship in my collection, Marsland is one of the exceptions due exclusively to its name.
Nebraska meteorites are far from rare, and 1933 was a popular year for witnessed falls and finds alike so there is no magic in that number. The classification, and the size of the single recovered stone are unexciting, and while a reasonably fresh interior, the exterior confesses a terrestrial history extending long before Nebraska was officially recognized as a state.
My rectangular slice of Marsland has one edge of crust and two nice faces. The polished of the two faces show a rich black matrix sprinkled plenty of fine-grained metal flake, troilite, and the occasional chondrule.
The unpolished face bares the notation of once being in the James Schwade Meteorite Collection, and upon whose card identifies the source previous to Jim as David New, a mainstay in meteorite dealership during the 80s and 90s.
Although my collecting deliberately targets historic witnessed falls, Marsland is a welcome exception to my rule. I am happy to add any planetary-named meteorite to my collection regardless of the size of the audience in attendance during its earthly birth.
Until next time….