Serving The Meteorite Community Since 2002

Gaetan Cormier Interview

This feature is devoted to one of the personalities within the meteorite community. This month we are delighted to share an interview we had with Gaetan Cormier of

(MT) What or who got you interested in meteorites and how old were you when you got your first meteorite?

(GC) I’ve been doing amateur astronomy since 1985. What actually got me into astronomy was the return of Halley’s comet. Comets where a big thing for me and I read as much as I could on the subject.

In 1991, I joined the Montreal Centre of the RASC, the same Centre where David Levy went at a younger age and was our honorary president. I even had the chance at that time to have an observing night with him at our observing spot back then at Mount Sutton in Quebec.

Then, june 14th 1994 came with the fall of the St-Robert meteorite here in Quebec. To make a story short, that got me hooked and I had the chance the following september to hold in my hands some of the samples of the St-Robert meteorites.

(MT) What was your first meteorite?

(GC) Two meteorite dealers/chasers where really influencial for me around 1995/96 when internet came really accessible. Robert Haag was the one who sold me my first meteorite, it was a nice end-cut of Forrest (b) of about 17g. Also at the time I ”virtually” met Mike Farmer with whom I talked over the phone quite a while.. my ex-wife was yelling at me because of the long distances phone charges… hahahahah! I beleive my first meteorite from Mike was either a Gao or Davy (a)

(MT) Do you have special areas of interest that you focus on in regards to meteorites (thin sections, photography, chemistry, age dating..  etc)?

(GC) Not really, for me all types of meteorites are interesting, from plain Ordinary Chondrites to Carbonaceous chondrite I find fascination in them all. A friend of mine got a thin section recently and I had the chance to put this under a microscope with polarized light and I really enjoyed it.. looking forward of getting a couple of those

(MT) Does your Family share in your interest in meteorites?

(GC) They are not crazy about meteorites like I am, but they sure enjoy when I show them some new ones I get from time to time.  My youngest daughter Lea (9 years old) asked me last year to come to her class to talk about meteorites with the kids and they really freaked out when I gave them each a small Canyon Diablo :)

(MT) Do you have any special approaches to collecting? (Type collection, only stones, only irons, only by aesthetics, etc. or any and all that you like.)

(GC) Not really, I will get what I find nice as much as if a meteorite is of a rarer type but my favorite type are ordinary & carbonaceous chondrites

(MT) Is your collection displayed or kept in a dry box or both?

(GC) For now my collection is still very small… Due to past financial situations, I had to sell off my collection at two different occasions. This type is situation is far behind now and hopefully my collection will grow over time. My collection is kept in a drawer system. Eventually, if I get my hands on a nice glass display cabinet, I will display them.

(MT) In what ways do you use your computer for meteorites. (met-list, Social Media, meteorite research, shopping, etc)

(GC) The computer plays a big role I think for all of us. I use mine for my website and for shopping on dealers website and eBay

(MT) Do you ever hunt for meteorites?

(GC) Not having a budget for travel makes this difficult, so my meteorite hunting has been limited to the St-Robert strewnfield.

(MT) What is your favorite meteorite in your collection?

(GC) My favorite meteorite is my little 2.54g St-Robert fragment. It’s small but at least I got one!!!

2.54g St-Robert fragment

(MT) What meteorites are currently on your wish list?

(GC) I would love to have a nice slice of Chelyabinsk something around 20g showing some impact melt, would make my happy. I think Chelyabinsk is simply amazing because of it’s story. It’s a meteorite that has an history that will never be forgotten at that people will talk about for centuries to come!

(MT) Do you also collect related materials like impact glasses, breccias, melts, tektites, shocked fossils, native iron rocks etc?

(GC) Actually, I have a bigger collection of impact related material than meteorites. I find these as fascinating and my wallet likes it too because it’s (most of the time) cheaper. :)

Alamo Breccia

(MT) Do you prepare any of your own specimens? (cut, polish, etch, etc.)

(GC) I do! I’m a member of the Montreal Gem & Mineral Club and we have quite a few saws and polishing machines available to us, so I do prepare some samples.

Thank you for your time!

Meteorite Times Magazine Sponsors
Meteorite News
Meteorite Resources