Merchant Meteorite Collection

Don Merchant, a meteorite collector and dealer, graciously sold us his personal meteorite collection in the summer of 2018.  Below is a sampling of the most significant items in this collection.  Our thanks to Gerard Bianchi for the meteorite images.

Click on this link to view information on the entire collection:  Meteorite Dataset

 

 

 

Weston

The Weston meteorite exploded over New Milford, Connecticut in December, 1807.  Pieces of it fell in what was then Weston, Connecticut (that location is now part of Easton, Connecticut).  It was the first well-documented fall in the New World, and this event began the study of meteoritics in the United States.


McCarthy
Observatory founder Monty Robson wrote a scholarly article about this meteorite, which you can read  here: Robson et al 2009

 

Meteoritical Bulletin Database information can be found here: Weston

 

 

 

 

Weston, an H4 chondrite

 

 

 

Weston meteorite information card

 

 

Ensisheim

The Ensisheim meteorite fell in Alsace, France, in 1492.  It is the first meteorite fall to be observed and collected in the Western World.

Meteoritical Bulletin Database information can be found here:  Ensisheim

 

 

 

Ensisheim, an LL6 chondrite

 

 

 

Ensisheim meteorite with information card.

 

 

Peekskill

This meteorite, an ordinary chondrite, fell in Peekskill, NY on Oct. 9, 1992, puncturing a hole in the trunk of a young women’s car.

Meteoritical Bulletin Database information can be found here: Peekskill

 

 

 

Peekskill, an H6 chondrite

 

 

 

Damage from the Peekskill meteorite. Photo credit: The Journal News

 

 

Canyon Diablo

Canyon Diablo is the name given to meteorites that were pieces of the large asteroid that impacted in the Arizona desert about 50 thousand years ago.  The impact site, now called Meteor Crater, is a major tourist attraction.

In new research, scientists have found an unusual graphite-diamond structure in these meteorites.

Meteoritical Bulletin Database information can be found here: Canyon Diablo

 

 

 

 

Canyon Diablo, an iron meteorite

 

 

 

Meteor Crater, Arizona. Photo credit: https://meteorcrater.com

 

 

Murchison

Murchison meteorites, rare carbonaceous chondrites, fell near Victoria, Australia on Sept. 28, 1969.  These meteorites contain pre-solar grains; particles that were formed in supernova explosions long before our solar system formed.

Meteoritical Bulletin Database information can be found here:   Murchison

 

 

 

 

Murchison meteorites, carbonaceous chondrites

 

 

 

Murchison meteorites with information card

 

 

Chelyabinsk

The Chelyabinsk meteor, a small asteroid estimated to have been about the size of a six story building, fragmented and exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in February, 2013.  About 1500 people were injured, mostly from shattered glass and other flying debris caused by the shock wave generated by the explosion.

Meteoritical Bulletin Database information can be found here:  Chelyabinsk

 

 

 

 

Chelyabinsk, an LL5 chondrite

 

 

Chelyabinsk meteor fireball. Image credit: Alexandr Ivanov

 

 

 

Almahatta Sitta

This meteorite fell in the Nubian Desert in October, 2008.  The parent object, asteroid 2008 TC3, was seen and tracked prior to hitting the Earth.  McCarthy Observatory was one of the last observatories to record and measure its position before impact.

Meteoritical Bulletin Database information can be found here:    Almahatta Sitta

 

 

 

 

Almahatta Sitta, an EL5/6 chondrite

 

 

 

Click on this image to see a short video of the asteroid’s motion across the sky as recorded at McCarthy Observatory Oct. 7, 2008 at 1:29:46 – 1:30:39 UT.

 

 

Dar al Gani 400

Most meteorites are material left over from the formation of the solar system.  A severe enough impact on another rocky world can send pieces of that object into space where they drift for millennia.  If that material intersects with Earth’s orbit it can become a meteorite from another world.  These specimen are Lunar in origin and were found in Dar al Gani, Libyan Sahara, in March, 1998.

Meteoritical Bulletin Database information can be found here:  Dar al Gani 400

 

 

 

 

Dar al Gani 400, Lunar Anorthosytic Breccia

 

 

 

Dar al Gani 400 in case with information label

 

 

Dar al Gani 476

As described above for Dar al Gani 400, this is also a meteorite from another world, but this one is from Mars.  Since we have many orbiters and rovers on Mars we can compare this material to what is on Mars and learn its origin.  This piece was found in Dar al Gani, Libyan Sahara, in May of 1998.

Meteoritical Bulletin Database information can be found here:   Dar al Gani 476

 

 

 

 

Dar al Gani 476, Martian Shergottite

 

 

 

Dar al Gani 476 in case with information label