First, let me say that it’s really great to be here. Frankly, it was getting pretty nip-and-tuck as the fuse on 2012 burned short, but as we all discovered, 2013 arrived on schedule and in like-new condition.
So now we can all shift our attention to the next world-ending event. If you are like me and enjoy having constant reminders of the impending total destruction of our planet, just subscribe to the WebCal End of the World Events for your iPhone iCal app. With that app there’s no chance that you’ll miss out on a full-scale planetary destruction event!
At 9:36 in the morning Central Time in 1959, the United States launched the Explorer 7 Satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Explorer 7 carried a radiometer invented by Verner E. Suomi, as well as instruments allowing the first measurements from space of Earth’s radiation and the first climatological studies. But it also carried a secondary instrument destined to measure the effects of micrometeorite impacts. By 9:05pm that same day, space threw back at us a meteorite that was studied for cosmogenic nuclides.
The Hamlet Meteorite
A hamlet, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is a group of houses, or small village without a church. Hamlet is also a meteorite that I find interesting since the Hamlet meteorite happens to also be a “house hammer” meaning it struck a house on its way down. According to the Meteoritical Bulletin, the global repository of such things and citing a letter from Dr. E.P. Henderson to E.L. Krinov dated January 18, 1960.“The meteorite struck a house, breaking a piece off the gutter, and was found in the yard about 30 minutes after its fall. The stone has a conical shape; however, a piece broke off the apex before it was recovered and is still missing.”
Indiana is no stranger to meteorites with five witnessed falls and eight finds. About half are chondrites, and with one exception, the other half are irons. But oh what an exception! The Lafayette meteorite was found in Indiana-in the Purdue University mineral collection to be exact (labeled as a lowly “Glacial Pebble” to be specific), and identified as a meteorite in 1931. Later, it was discovered that Lafayette is a SNC, and like all SNCs it came from Mars. And if that weren’t enough, Lafayette is one of the most beautiful oriented stone meteorites of any flavor of classification.
Hamlet has a plethora of desirable features, so its value to collectors is high. Luckily it is available to those who amass witnessed falls, but not too available. Still, since if you are reading this, you have safely transected the dangers of 2012, and can continue your collecting for another year. And if you happen not to have Hamlet in your collection and there is still room on your New Year’s Resolutions, I’d suggest adding “acquire Hamlet” to the list.
Until next time….