Meteorites

Posted: July 16, 2013 - 15:14 , by Brian Boyle
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Meteorites, Photography, Collections | Comments (0) | Comment
Thin section of a meteorite

As the ROM's photographer, I get to see and handle some really neat things. Today for instance, Ian Nicklin the ROM's resident meteorite specialist, came to the studio with three thin slices of a meteorite. This particular specimen, NWA 5232 for the 5232nd metorite from North West Africa to be officially described, or scientifically identified, is an eucrite meteorite.

It is believed the eucrites are made up of bits and pieces of the asteroid 4 Vesta - the second largest asteroid in our solar system. Most asteroids are hit numerous times by meteoroids and asteroids, shattering the outer crust. Eventually, these bits resolidify and form a rock. At times, when asteroids collide with other asteroids, some material is blasted into space. Sometimes this material crosses earth's orbit and falls as meteorites. 

For more information on 4 Vesta, check out this link to DAWN. Dawn's goal is to characterize the conditions and processes of the solar system's earliest epoch by investigating in detail two of the largest protoplanets remaining intact since their formations. Dawn is a satellite orbiting 4 Vesta and then heading for Ceres on an informtion gathering mission. 4 Vesta and Ceres are in the asteroid belt between Mars  and Jupiter.

Today, I held three pieces meteorite which probably came from 4 Vesta. The purpose of the photography is to show the variety of rocks and minerals which formed this meteorite.

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