Newsletter for Orphaned Meteorites from USA – Volume 1 No. 4 -- November 2015
by Robert Verish

Bob's Bulletin

A newsletter for "orphaned" meteorites from the USA.

Newsletter for Orphaned Meteorites from USA – Volume 1 No. 4 -- November 2015

  • Vol. 1 No.4 has Petrographic Descriptions for the following Meteorite Specimens:
  • Petrographic Description for Meteorite Field ID # C111120

    Newsletter Vol. 01-4
    Location California, USA
    Thin-section ID Number V-W04
    Dimensions 4.0cm x 3.5cm x 3.0cm
    Weight 31.0 grams
    Type Specimen 9.1gram endcut - plus thin-section
    Class Ordinary Chondrite (quite possibly an L6)
    Weathering Grade mid-range (but very likely above "W3")
    Shock Stage low (most likely "S2" or lower)
    Macroscopic Description -- R. Verish
    This meteorite is a weathered, half-stone, which was found in two pieces. A 4.6gram corner piece was found less than a meter away from the 26.4gram main-mass, and can be physically-paired. Although only separated by less than a meter the two fragments appear to have undergone slightly different weathering histories in their respective local micro-environments. The dark exterior of this chondrite is covered 50% with a relict fusion crust and many rust-spots. The interior is patterened in a variety of orange to yellow-brown to dark-brown colors with very low metal-grain content, and only a few troilite grains. The chondrules and inclusions are not distinct.
    Thin Section Description -- R. Verish
    The section exhibits a variety of chondule sizes (some up to 3 mm), but most are indistinct in an orange-brown, iron oxide-rich matrix of fine-grained silicates, troilite and very rare metal. Although the exterior of this meteorite has experienced only minimal physical weathering, the interior has undergone chemical weathering and many fractures arer filled with weathering products. Very few shock effects are present. Silicates appear to be equilibrated. This meteorite is probably a low-shock, well-equilibrated L-chondrite.
    USA Orphaned Meteorite Images for Specimen ID# C111120

    The above "Bulletin" is just one example of a way in which to record U.S. OC meteorite finds. Hopefully, this compilation will bring attention to the problem of the increasing number of meteorites found here in the USA, not only going unclassified, but even going unreported. Hopefully, some volunteers will offer to help establish a database that will document these "orphans".

    In the meanwhile, I will do my part and continue to gather data, and along with others, make a list of what we know to be "orphaned meteorites".


    Bob's Bulletin - Vol. 1 No. 1 -- In my first Bulletin, I introduced the phrase "orphaned-meteorites from the USA". I defined these "orphans" as being unwitnessed-fall Ordinary Chondrite (OC) meteorite "finds" that are recovered in the U.S.
    Unfortunately, the vast majority of U.S. finds are of this type. I went on to write that these U.S. finds were being orphaned from the family of "approved" meteorites for the following reasons:
    1) The lack of funding for U.S. researchers to authenticate, classify, and document/record these U.S. OC finds has resulted in several new [negative]; trends.
    2) The increasing trend of commercializing the classifying of meteorites by U.S. researchers has priced U.S. OC finds out of the market, and
    3) The increasing trend of U.S. researchers to turn away OC finds, even when finders of U.S. OC meteorites are willing to pay for their classification.

    Bob's Bulletin - Vol. 1 No. 2 -- In my 2nd Bulletin, I went into more detail about why I use the phrase "orphaned-meteorites from the USA". I focused on the lack of U.S.-tax-dollar-funding and why no funding was going towards the classification of these particular meteorites. In hindsight, I now realize that I should have pointed-out that there is also a lack of funding for just authenticating and recording that a U.S. meteorite has been found. This function should never be confused with "classifying" a meteorite, which is obviously way more labor intensive and costly.

    Bob's Bulletin - Vol. 1 No. 3 -- In my 3rd Bulletin, I proposed the idea of an on-line database for these "orphaned" and other unclassified U.S. meteorites. This would have to be an all-volunteer effort, much in the same manner that the American Meteor Society has established the Fireball Reporting System. This database would give finders a central point to report their finds and have a field ID number issued to them. This "Field ID" would reflect which US state and date of find. The function of this database should not be confused with already established processes of getting a meteorite "classified", which is obviously way more labor intensive and costly.

    Meteoritical Bulletin: the search results for all provisional meteorites found in "USA" - Published by Meteoritical Society - Meteoritical Bulletin, Database.

    Meteorites of California the list of formally-recognized California meteorite falls and finds.

    "Salinas man finds meteorites in Nevada" -- ( Scott Harlan 7:38 a.m. PDT August 15, 2015) -- My interest in geology probably started with my father who was a petroleum geologist. We would go to gem and mineral shows together and look at all of the spectacular specimens.

    METEORITES FOUND ON MISFITS FLAT DRY LAKE (P. Jenniskens, 2015) -- reports on the discovery of meteorites along the northern shore of the Misfits Flat dry lake near Stagecoach, NV -
    Published by Meteoritical Society - 78th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society (2015).

    "Mystery at Misfits Flat" -- ( 2015 SETI Institute) -- An amateur has discovered a trove of meteorites on Misfits Flat dry lake in Nevada. No meteorites had been found at this tiny lakebed before. In an unusual twist, at least some of those turn out to have fallen less than 300 years ago.
    The mission of the SETI Institute is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe.

    My previous Bob's Bulletins can be found *HERE*

    If you would like to sponsor any of these orphans, and help in the funding for getting them classified, in order to get them entered into the Meteoritical Bulletin Database, then please contact me by email:
    bolidechaser at yahoo-dot-com