Nevada Meteorite Picture of the Day
(for the Month of February 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 2008:
See Explanation.

Name of Nevada Meteorite: Provisional Name has been approved, but in the interim the main mass has been misplaced, which has delayed its getting classified.
Image taken with permission of finder.
Credit: Image taken by author.


The above image was taken with my digital camera while viewing into the eyepiece of a petrographic microscope. It is an image of a thin section that was made from the type specimen that was depicted in last month's NevMet POD. This view depicts the variety of chondrules in this unequilibrated chondrite. This thin section has been submitted to UCLA for classification.

As was mentioned above in "Name", this meteorite's classification has been delayed because it was misplaced. The good news about this small, yet significant, recent Nevada meteorite find is that the finder did not procrastinate in getting a thin-section made of his find. The finder has done a great job of recording his recovery data, taking images of the stone before and after a type specimen 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).

A question could be raised about the justification for classifying such a small find. My first response would be that the size of a meteorite has no bearing on whether a classification would result in any important findings. My second response would be more specific and it involves the fact that many other meteorites were found at this same locality. The vast majority of these "other meteorites" were similarly small-sized fragments of an H6 meteorite. All of these small fragments have similar-looking exteriors. But this particular small fragment is obviously not from a H6 meteorite. So, now that another meteorite type is known from this locality, finders of future fragments now know to not assume that their find is from the H6 meteorite. It doesn't matter that this piece of crucial information was obtained from a small fragment.

But the main 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-images and the taking of a thin-section from the type specimen was done promptly after this meteorite was found.

For Reference:

NEVADA METEORITES - FINDS WITHOUT NomCom-approved "Provisional" names or numbers:

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 provisional 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.

< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | Glossary | Education | About NV Mets | >

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