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 Marissa Fanady.
(MT) Who or what got you interested in meteorites and how old were you when you got your first meteorite?
(Marissa) Astronomy got me interested in meteorites. I first got into astronomy back in 2010 and I started watching the science channel a lot and sometimes they would show the Meteorite Men. I knew about meteorites but like everyone else I thought that they were impossible to obtain, that the only way you can get any is by hunting for them. I was 19 when I received my first meteorite.
(MT) What was your first meteorite?
(Marissa) I obtained my first meteorite, a tiny Campo, as a gift from Astronomy Magazine for buying a DVD back in 2011 and I was hooked after that moment.
(MT) Do you still have it?
(Marissa) Yes it will remain in my collection as long as I live.
(MT) Do you have special areas of interest that you focus on in regards to meteorites?
(Marissa) I enjoy the history and makeup of meteorites, where they came from, how they formed and if they brought water, the ingredients for life or even life itself to the earth.
(MT) Does your family share in your interest in meteorites?
(Marissa) They think it’s cool but really I’m the only meteorite nut in my area. My astronomy club calls me their meteorite expert which I’m really actually far from being an expert!
(MT) Do you have any special approaches to collecting?
(Marissa) I collect any meteorites that catch my eye, they’re all amazing. But I do play favorites to chondrule packed stone meteorites as they’re a glimpse into the early solar system.
(MT) Is your collection displayed or kept in a dry box or both?
(Marissa) Most of my meteorites are kept in a box in my room and some are scattered throughout my room so I can always see some and enjoy my collection.
(MT) In what ways do you use your computer for meteorites?
(Marissa) I mainly use my computer with all my meteorite activities. Without my computer I would not have any meteorites or know any folks who love them as well. I use it for shopping, research, sharing photos and knowledge, and chatting with other meteorite lovers around the world.
(MT) Do you ever hunt for meteorites?
(Marissa) Yes I am very proud to say that I have hunted and successfully found meteorites. This was a huge deal because I am physically disabled and use a power wheelchair. Thanks to the amazing meteorite community my dream came true and we made history.
(MT) What is your favorite meteorite in your collection?
(Marissa) My favorite meteorite is my Chelyabinsk peas and small slice all under a gram and my largest chely weighing about 123 grams.
(MT) What is your favorite overall if it is not the one above?
(Marissa) My favorite meteorite overall is my very first meteorite find that I made out in the Mojave desert on a dry lake bed, it’s a nice stone meteorite.
(MT) What makes these of special interest?
(Marissa) I love my Chely because I never imagined that an event of that magnitude would happen in my lifetime. I remember everything about that day and I’ll never forget that day, I almost skipped class because of that event! I was ecstatic and knew that there had to be meteorites, if there was I was going to get my hands on a piece of that meteor no matter how small. My very first meteorite find is priceless and very important to me because I thought that being physically disabled that I’d never find my own meteorites. But thanks to the science community I went out on the desert in my power wheelchair and found a meteorite! Actually I found two! It was the greatest accomplishment of my life so far.
(MT) What methods have been most successful in building your collection?
(Marissa) The methods I use to build up my collection are buying from dealers online and buying from eBay auctions. I use eBay the most because I can find better prices that fit my budget.
(MT) Do you also collect related materials like impact glasses, breccias, melts, tektites, shocked fossils, native iron rocks, etc?
(Marissa) Yes I own some impact glasses, breccias and tektites. I’ll collect anything related to meteorites or created from impacts, I love and need to see the whole picture of what happened.