Nevada Meteorite Picture of the Day
(for the Month of January 2008)

Discover the Solar System - right here in the Nevada desert! Every month a different image or photograph of a NEVADA meteorite will be featured, along with a brief explanation written by a meteorite-recovery expert.

Image taken in 2007:
See Explanation.

Name of Nevada Meteorite: Provisional Name has been approved, but unless this "misplaced" find is returned, or is "re-found", and then is classified, it will remain uncataloged.
Image taken with permission of finder.

Credit: Image taken by author.


The good news about this small, yet significant, recent Nevada meteorite find is that the finder has done a great job of recording his recovery data, taking images of the stone before and after it was cut, backing-up all of these files on a separate computer, and has already obtained a Provisional Name/Number from the Nomenclature Committee (NomComm). The bad news is that, before it was sent out to get classified, it was misplaced (or stolen) and still cannot be found.
But the point being made here is about "the good news". Even if this misplaced find is never "re-found", the prompt attention by the finder to record the recovery data and to obtain a Provisional Name/Number assures that this data will not be "lost to science" along with the stone. And because the finder didn't procrastinate in getting a type specimen cut from this stone, it was that much sooner that it was discovered that this was not an Ordinary Chondrite. As a result, a preliminary "visual pairing" was able to be made, thus assuring its connection to an existing find and to any future paired stones. Had the prompt cutting and taking of images not been made, the significance of this small find may never have been realized.

This case is just one example of how a rare meteorite was luckily found, but because of a little bad luck, this stone may never get cataloged. Unfortunately, there are a multitude of ways in which meteorites could end up getting "lost to science". But, as in the case with the stone depicted here, this loss was minimized because the backing-up of recovery data and the taking of images was done promptly after this meteorite was found.

[Note: Should this stone be found (or returned) and then finally "cataloged", this web page will be revised to reflect this meteorite's change in status.

Regarding the finding of any other "new" Nevada meteorites, it is recommended that finders immediately make a file to back-up all of their recovery data, and to keep this information confidential. More importantly, before "going public" by announcing a "new" meteorite find, it is highly recommended to report this information to the Nomenclature Committee (Nom Comm) of the Meteoritical Society. {See "For Reference:" below}
The reason being is that this "new" find may not really be new, but may be just the lastest of what actually are "very many" finds from a locality that the Nom Comm had been keeping confidential for another finder (or possibly, for many other finders). This is just one example of the confidentiality that the Nom Comm maintains, and it is called, "embargoing" a locality. Typically, this has been done for researchers who are conducting a long-term study of a locality. (The Gold Basin strewn field was studied for ~2 years before it went public.) Who knows what locality is the "next Gold Basin", or worse, is a strewn field that is currently under study. No one wants to be labeled as "the guy who blew the cover and ruined the 'next Gold Basin' strewn field"!

So, as was the case for the meteorite depicted here, and for several other good reasons, it is important to report your recovery data in a timely manner to the Nom Comm. You don't need to be a member of the Meteoritical Society in order to do this reporting. In fact, the Nom Comm prefers that the finders, themselves, report each of their Nevada meteorite finds. The minimum information they require is 1) Date of find, 2) Mass of find, and 3) Location of find. With this minimal information you can then have a Provisional Name and/or Number assigned to your find. Yes, that's right. Your find doesn't need to be classified in order to get a Provisional name. The NomComm will keep this "information" and the Provisional Name strictly confidential - AS THEY ALWAYS HAVE, for every finder that has contacted them.]

(In "close-up" images, the black, hand-made "Cube Scale" is a cubic centimeter.)

For Reference:

UNREPORTED FINDS (WITHOUT NomCom "Provisional" names or numbers):

Meteorite finds (from North America) can now get "Provisional" names or numbers assigned to them.  
These are assigned by the Nomenclature Commmittee (NomComm) of the Meteoritical Society.  
In the past it wasn't always possible to get a "provisional" name, so in the future this may be 
subject to change.  But for now, given the glut of meteorite finds and the long delay in getting 
classifications, it has been recognized that it is better to provisionally record 
a meteorite find (now) than it is to wait for ALL the required information to be gathered (years later).  

And as is the current trend, where more and more important meteorites are being found and are in need of being studied, it has been recognized that there are even that many more Ordinary Chondrite finds being made, and not only are they going "unstudied", they are going "unrecorded"! So, in order to not lose this data, the NomComm is accepting recovery information directly from meteorite finders and issuing to them "provisional" names and/or numbers. Clearly this policy is borrowed from the NWA provisional numbering process and is only intended to be a stop-gap measure until the glut of Ordinary Chondrite finds from North America subsides (if ever).

So, if you have found a new Nevada meteorite and would like to report it and get a "provisional" name, or even easier, you have made a find from a known, formally named locality and would like to have a number issued, please contact the Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin, Dr. Harold C. Connolly Jr

Would you like to see your image displayed here? Feel free to submit your image to the editor's email address below. Any and all submissions of Nevada meteorite images are welcome.

The next Picture of the "Day": will be next month.

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Authors & editors: Robert Verish (Meteorite-Recovery Lab)