Serving The Meteorite Community Since 2002

Moving a Collection

Have not been doing much meteorite related work for the last two months. I did cut several stones for a friend and they were interesting and rare types which always is exciting. I have gotten a couple updates from the lab where I have an amazing stone being classified. I think that work will be completed soon and it submitted to the Nomenclature Committee for approval. I only got out once to hunt meteorites this year. That was chasing the bright bolide I wrote about in a recent past article. Because while those few meteorite related things were happening I was packing up my collection and everything else we own for the move to their new home. While packing I was thinking about how I would protect them during the time they are waiting to arrive in a couple months.

This is a close up image of the meteorite I have in the works at Cascadia Meteorite Lab. It is almost certainly a type 3. The continuing work is to determine if it is an L or an LL or an L/LL. The last choice is a type no classifier wants to make unless they have to. So more analysis is being done since at the present the meteorite is giving data that puts it right on the boundary of both classifications. More chondrules are being measured and more sample points are being analyzed. It is a great meteorite full of close-packed chondrules in clusters with deformed shapes. The visible metal is certainly sufficient to put it in the L type. But, I will share with you that I find something cool and mysterious about LL meteorites and would love to see it get that classification.

I made several thin sections of the meteorite under analysis. Here are just a couple images from the batch taken of the thin sections. I am looking forward to getting my ultra close up rig for photographing thin section back in operation too. I have almost twenty slides prepared waiting to be ground of other meteorites and miss not making them and imaging the thin sections.

It’s been brewing around in the mind of my wife and me for a couple years that it was about time to move out of the traffic-congested high crime big city. One day when things were particularly crazy around LA she said to me “We are moving to Tehachapi!” My response thinking she was joking was “Either there or Kansas!” She repeated what she had said and I knew she was serious. So being fine with the idea I said: “Ok, I will start fixing up the house to sell and we will find an agent to list it.” I worked for about eight weeks doing all the repairs I had neglected during 33 years of living in the house. Spackling and painting and screen repair and replacing all the cracked panes of glass, and much more. I also had a plumber and electrician come in and do some work. About six weeks into that eight weeks of my work I found a realtor who Sara and I liked immediately to list the house. Most of the meteorites, tektites, impactites, and artifacts were already reposing in boxes by the time of the broker walk through and open house. Just a few remained to be packed away.

Much of my meteorite collection was never visible because we are pretty close to the Pacific Ocean. Just about a mile as the crow flys from the Pacific Ocean. So a portion did not need to be boxed up since they were already. But the display cases and the specimens on shelves and my desk did have to be packed. I thought as I did this about keeping them safe for the long time until I would be able to unpack them. My thoughts part of the time were on the tragic fire at the Natural History Museum in Brazil. The lack of a fire suppression system in the 200-year-old building was disastrous. Even if we are the owners of only small pieces and only as some may be of a few pieces. We all have a responsibility to protect these visitors that have gotten lost in their journey around the Sun; who have fallen to our world. This is not a safe place for them. During countless ages wandering in space, they never rusted even the tiniest bit. Some suffered collisions and were crushed and melted to reform as new and different stones. But they remained. Once they fall to Earth they are at risk of disappearing completely through corrosion or weathering. I have kept them safe so far and need to keep them safe during this move and protect them onward.

The saws and other lapidary equipment was going to have to be readied to move. I am shutting down work for an extended time and have let the couple friends I work for know I can not cut for a while. There is a big bonus for me in this move. I get a dedicated meteorite laboratory at the new house being built. I’m having a great time dreaming about the air-conditioned room that I will have to work in. And I am having fun planning in my mind how I will set it up.

This is an early image of my laboratory workspace.

I have decided to get a new display case for my office inside the house. Since we are now going to be far from the ocean there may be some other meteorites that I can have out on display. I will also be over two hours closer to the desert to go hunting. I won’t have to fight the horrible traffic to get out of town or when heading back home after hunting. I hope to be able to get out more often and to also do some ghost town and old mine area exploring. I would love to use the metal detector a great amount more. I need to talk to Paul and see if he is still going to put an all-sky camera on his house. We probably don’t need two so close together, but it would be super cool to capture the bolide on camera and then go out and hunt for it. The best, of course, would be to then also find one or more pieces of the fall.

As I suppose you can tell I am pretty excited about this move. It has been a great amount of work so far and much more is still to come but at some point soon we will be in our new home and the fun can begin. Until next time Jim

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