WORLD'S LARGEST ORIENTED PALLASITE
IN OCTOBER, 2005, PROFESSIONAL METEORITE HUNTER
made one of the greatest meteorite discoveries of modern times. In a field in
rural Kansas — a site long known for yeilding space rocks — Steve
found a complete, oriented pallasite, weighing almost three quarters of a ton.
Excavated from its resting place seven-and-a-half feet underground, it is the
largest pallasite ever recovered in the United States, and the largest oriented
pallasite in history.
WHAT IS A PALLASITE?
Meteorites are rocks that have fallen to Earth from space. They are the remains
of long-dead planets and asteroids; many or most are believed to originate in
the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Pallasites are an extremely rare
class, accounting for only about 1% of all known meteorites. Pallasites are
packed with beautiful translucent crystals of olivine (the semi-precious gemstone
peridot) suspended in a nickel-iron matrix, and are thought to have formed at
the core/mantle boundary of an ancient celestial body.
WHAT IS AN ORIENTED
When meteorites hit the earth's atmosphere, they may be traveling at speeds
as high as 17 miles per second. Some meteorites break up under the force of
atmospheric pressure, others spin as they approach the surface of our planet.
A very few meteorites maintain the same orientation as they burn through
our atmosphere and acquire a conical, rounded or bullet-shape as a result of
melting and ablation. These shield or rocket nose-shaped meteorites are extremely
rare, and are described as oriented. Oriented meteorites are sought after by
collectors for their beauty and rarity.
can own a piece of the Brenham meteorite — a gemstone from outer space!
HERE for details
giant meteorite was found after a systematic search using sophisticated modern
metal detecting equipment within the old Brenham strewn field in Kiowa County,
Kansas. An earth-moving back hoe was called in to raise the 1,400-pound meteorite
to the surface. The story was reported around the world on MSNBC, USA Today,
ABC News, Newsweek, Discovery Channel, The Paul Harvey Show, and others. The
media have dubbed Steve's meteorite "The Million Dollar Space Rock."
See photos of the discovery here
Steve Arnold co-stars in the new TV adventure show METEORITE
MEN only on Science Channel