APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

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APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by APOD Robot » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:05 am

Image Sutter's Mill Meteorite

Explanation: Last Sunday's bright fireball meteor falling through skies over California and Nevada produced sonic booms over a broad area around 7:51 am. Estimates indicate the meteor was about the size of a minivan. Astronomer Peter Jenniskens subsequently recovered these fragments of a crushed 4 gram meteorite, the second find from this meteor fall, in the parking lot of the Henningsen-Lotus state park, not far from Sutter's Mill. This is now known as the Sutter's Mill Meteorite, the location famous for its association with the California Gold Rush. The meteorite may well be astronomer's gold too, thought to be a rare CM type carbonaceous chondrite, a type rich in organic compounds and similar to the Murchison Meteorite. To trace the meteor's orbit, details of its breakup, and aid in locating more fragements, scientists are also searching for video records. Security cameras across a wide area could have accidently captured the fireball event near 7:51 am PDT on April 22; e.g. California (SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, near Redding) and Nevada (Reno area, Tonopah), even in southern parts of Oregon and near Salt Lake City in Utah. If you have video footage of the event, please use the contact information here.

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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by bystander » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:07 am

Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by serowe » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:23 am

Out of interest - just when did this meteorite enter Earth's atmosphere?

APOD keep quoting 7:21 am - the SETI article the APOD article links to quotes 7:51 am. Big difference if you are asking for security footage of it...

Sofia

Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by Sofia » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:08 am

It was hard to tell from the picture. What was the sizes of the pieces of meteorite?

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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by neufer » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:17 pm

Click to play embedded YouTube video.
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:44 pm

serowe wrote:Out of interest - just when did this meteorite enter Earth's atmosphere?

APOD keep quoting 7:21 am - the SETI article the APOD article links to quotes 7:51 am. Big difference if you are asking for security footage of it...
7:51 am PDT is the correct time.
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by owlice » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:30 pm

serowe wrote:Out of interest - just when did this meteorite enter Earth's atmosphere?
Thank you; this has been changed.
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Astronomy Day: 2012 Apr 28

Post by neufer » Sat Apr 28, 2012 4:15 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomy_Day wrote:
<<Astronomy Day is an annual event intended to provide a means of interaction between the general public and various astronomy enthusiasts, groups and professionals. Astronomy Day also forms part of Astronomy Week, which begins on the preceding Monday. Astronomy Day occurs on a Saturday between mid-April and mid-May, and is scheduled so as to occur at or just before the first quarter Moon. This event was started in 1973 by Doug Berger, the president of the Astronomical Association of Northern California. His intent was to set up various telescopes in busy urban locations so that passersby could enjoys views of the heavens. Since then the event has expanded and is now sponsored by a number of organizations associated with astronomy.>>
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by coyoteabcd » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:07 pm

Are the samples magnetic like the finds on the cable show "Meteor Men"?

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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by neufer » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:13 pm

coyoteabcd wrote:
Are the samples magnetic like the finds on the cable show "Meteor Men"?
Probably not if it is CM type rather than a CI carbonaceous chondrite.
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by JohnD » Sat Apr 28, 2012 7:01 pm

Who owns the meteorite?
Found in a State Park car park site, on State land(?) can the finder claim it?
Or does it belong to the State of California?

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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by ta152h0 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 8:08 pm

I did hear a faint thud on Sunday morning but passed it off as someone backing into a fence with a car.
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by BMAONE23 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:36 pm

JohnD wrote:Who owns the meteorite?
Found in a State Park car park site, on State land(?) can the finder claim it?
Or does it belong to the State of California?

JOhn
It is my understanding that for pirvate property, the meteorite would belong to the property owner but State and Federal lands are considered Public Property since your taxes pay for it's maintenance so finds on Public Property are owned by the public (you)

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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sat Apr 28, 2012 10:56 pm

JohnD wrote:Who owns the meteorite?
Found in a State Park car park site, on State land(?) can the finder claim it?
Or does it belong to the State of California?
Meteorites on public land are generally controlled by the agency that administers the land (Department of Agriculture for national forest land, Department of Interior for BLM land, etc.) Meteorites found in a state park would normally be controlled by the state. In many cases, Federal agencies have preexisting arrangements with scientific entities, like the Smithsonian, for receiving meteorite finds. Where the meteorites don't have significant scientific value (this is true for many meteorites), collectors are often allowed to keep their finds, even on some public lands. Also, public agencies may explicitly allow or permit meteorite hunters to operate in specific areas. States often have no idea what to do with finds, however.
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by hstarbuck » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:14 am

Sofia wrote:It was hard to tell from the picture. What was the sizes of the pieces of meteorite?
A simple dime or penny in the photo for scaling perspective would have answered this. Oh, well.

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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by geckzilla » Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:25 am

hstarbuck wrote:
Sofia wrote:It was hard to tell from the picture. What was the sizes of the pieces of meteorite?
A simple dime or penny in the photo for scaling perspective would have answered this. Oh, well.
There's a really small photo on this page but you can kind of see in the middle photo that the fragments would fit in the palm of your hand:
http://www.seti.org/seti-institute/news/meteorite-alert
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by hithere » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:36 am

Looks more like asphalt. Any tests done yet to show that it is not?

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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by JohnD » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:23 pm

Thanks, BMAone and Chris, but are you sure about that?

Just found this Wiki article with a long paragraph on right of ownership of meteorites, that isn't anything like as sanguine as you!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meteorite_hunter Last paragraph.

Please read it, but to quote some telling points; Federal government owns meteorites on federal land, because the gov owns the land, because the law says that it owns any meteorites (Antiquities Act 1906) , unless the meterorite is so large that it can be mined (!) And Bureau of Land Managnement says that the same Act awards meteorites on BLM land to the Smithsonian Institution." May not be relevant to a State Park?

The article also refences PEOPLE OF the STATE OF CALIFORNIA v. MEAD
http://openjurist.org/618/f2d/618/unite ... th-circuit
in which a California museum complained that a meteorite had been given to the Smithsonian rather than themselves, and lost.

Moreover, this is thought to be a carbonaceous metorite, rare and of great importance to research, that should be carefully handled to minimise contamination with terrestrial organics. Wasn't it a pity to see the finder holding pieces in their bare hands?
Seems to me that meteorite hunters have to hand them in, for scientific as much as legal reasons!
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:57 pm

hithere wrote:Looks more like asphalt. Any tests done yet to show that it is not?
It is trivial, on the most casual of examination, to distinguish a meteorite from asphalt. If you can see the interior (as in this case) it is also trivial to distinguish a chondrite from a terrestrial stone. Peter Jenniskens knows something about meteorites, as do some of the other professionals who have examined the meteorites recovered so far. It's certain that the meteorite is a carbonaceous chondrite; detailed chemical and mineralogical analysis will accurately nail down the finer classification.
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by Chris Peterson » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:59 pm

JohnD wrote:Thanks, BMAone and Chris, but are you sure about that?
I'm not sure what you are seeing in your references that differs much from what I said.
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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by neufer » Tue May 01, 2012 8:37 pm

hstarbuck wrote:
Sofia wrote:
It was hard to tell from the picture. What was the sizes of the pieces of meteorite?
A simple dime or penny in the photo for scaling perspective would have answered this. Oh, well.
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21764-california-meteorite-is-rare-rock-laden-with-organics.html wrote: California meteorite is rare rock laden with organics
New Scientist, 01 May 2012 by Sara Reardon

<<A meteorite that landed in northern California last week is much more valuable than scientists first thought.

After the meteor was sighted streaking through the sky on 22 April, meteorite hunters found fragments of the rock, identified by the "fusion crust" that forms when it burns in the atmosphere. NASA and the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California, also mobilised a search team of about 30 scientists, last weekend, to look for the fragile black rocks.

The meteorite turns out to be a very rare type of rock called CM chondrite, which makes up less than 1 per cent of the meteorites that fall to Earth. Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, says it is not clear whether it is rare because it easily burns up in the atmosphere or there are just fewer of these rocks in space.

The Murchison meteorite, a large CM chondrite that made landfall in Australia in 1969, is now one of the most studied rocks in the world.

Besides being rare, CM chondrites contain a lot of carbon and organic materials such as amino acids. Some believe this type of meteorite may have brought the first building blocks of life to Earth. As CM chondrite is one of the oldest types of rock in the universe, Cooke says that dating the newly discovered fragments will be a priority.

By coincidence, the meteorite fell in the same area that prospectors flocked to more than 150 years ago during California's gold rush – and it has attracted prospectors of its own. Franck Marchis of the SETI Institute says the public's response has been overwhelming. More than 1000 people showed up at the crash site, with rocks they'd found, to ask the scientists if they were meteorites. Due to its rarity, Cooke reckons 30 grams of CM chondrite is worth about $6000.>>
http://www.universetoday.com/94925/fragments-of-meteorite-worth-their-weight-in-gold/#more-94925 wrote:
Fragments of Meteorite Worth Their Weight in Gold
by Jason Major on May 1, 2012

<<Actually it’s more like 3.5 times their weight in gold, according to today’s market value… and meteorite experts from SETI and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

During the daylight hours of April 22, 2012, reports came in from all over the north central California area of an extremely bright fireball — described as a “glittering sparkler” — and accompanying loud explosion. It was soon determined that this was the result of a meteoroid about the size of a minivan entering the atmosphere and disintegrating. It was later estimated that the object weighed about 70 metric tons and detonated with a 5-kiloton force.

Over a thousand meteorite hunters scrambled to the area, searching for any traces of the cosmic visitor’s remains. After a few days, several pieces of the meteorite were found and reported by five individuals, adding up to 46 grams in total. Those pieces could be worth over $9,000 USD, according to Bill Cooke of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office at Marshall Space Flight Center. Based on today’s market, that’s about 3.6 times the value of gold (about $1,660 per troy ounce — 31.1 grams). The high value is due to the extreme rarity of the meteorite fragments. The California fireball is now known to have been created by a CM chondrite, a type of carbonaceous meteorite with material characteristics similar to comets.

According to Franck Marchis, Planetary Astronomer at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute and one of the coordinators of the meteorite reporting teams, CM chondrites appear to have been altered by water, and have deuterium-to-hydrogen ratios in line with what’s been measured in the tails of comets Halley and Hyakutake. They also have been found to contain organic compounds and amino acids, lending to the hypothesis that such meteorites may have helped supply early Earth with the building blocks for life. But due to their fragile composition, they are also incredibly rare. Only 1% of known meteorites are CM chondrites, making even the small handful of fragments found in California very valuable. “This will be only the third observed CM fall in the US, after Crescent, OK, in 1936, (78 g) and Murray, KY, in 1950 (13 kg),” Marchis told Universe Today.

As far as what the finders will do with the fragments, that’s entirely up to them. “They can sell them on eBay or they can lend them to the scientists… or make a donation.” Marchis said. The largest CM chondrite ever recovered was from a fall in Murchison, Australia on September 28, 1969. The total mass of its collected fragments weighed in at over 100 kg.>>
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keep it clean!

Post by neufer » Tue May 08, 2012 9:55 pm

hstarbuck wrote:
A simple dime or penny in the photo for scaling perspective would have answered this. Oh, well.
http://astrobob.areavoices.com/?blog=78068 wrote:
Sutter’s Mill meteorite tally at nearly 60; auroras possible tonight
Posted on May 8, 2012 by astrobob
[img3="The current "main mass" of the Sutter's Mill meteorite - a 35.1g rock
found over the weekend by Mitch Carey. Credit: Mitch Carey
"]http://astrobob.areavoices.com/files/20 ... 24x735.jpg[/img3]
<<Over the past two weeks, meteorite hunters in California have sent photos my way of what they thought might be meteorites from the April 22 fireball. Some of them are clearly not meteorites, while with others it’s to say for certain without a “live” inspection. Not so with the pictures Mitch Carey took of a 35.1 gram beautiful, unbroken specimen he found while spraying for poison oak on his land near Lotus. You can even see dirt on one side from the impact.

I contacted a couple well-known meteorite hunters in the area and Mitch’s find was soon confirmed as the real thing. What’s more, it’s the largest piece or “main mass” of Sutter’s Mill (provisional name) found to date. He’s currently taking offers on the piece.

No word yet on whether NASA researchers have found any meteorites from their ride aboard the zeppelin. More flights are underway. About 60 meteorites weighing 364 grams (0.8 lb) have been found to date. If you’re out hunting and find a meteorite from this fall, please take the proper care to keep it clean, especially if you want to submit it for scientific analysis. That means not handling it with your bare hands and keeping it away from high humidity and plastics.>>
Art Neuendorffer

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Re: APOD: Sutter's Mill Meteorite (2012 Apr 28)

Post by bystander » Mon May 14, 2012 12:24 pm

Fireball Meteorites Spark Space Age 'Gold Rush'
Discovery News | via Space.com | 2012 May 14
Space rocks from a minivan-size asteroid that exploded over California are now hot commodities.
  • Scientists and meteorite hunters have descended on California in hopes of finding space rocks.
  • They hope the meteorites might hold clues about the solar system's history.
Know the quiet place within your heart and touch the rainbow of possibility; be
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