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Meteorites search blog

Archive for November, 2006

Classifying the meteorites

Caroline, Friday, November 10th, 2006

For the next few weeks Gretchen and I will be working on other projects until the Nullabor meteorites arrive here at the Museum. We are expecting them before the end of the year, so will begin classifying them in 2007.

Buckingham Palace Science Day

Gretchen, Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

Caroline and I had our day at Buckingham Palace last Tuesday, sharing a stand with our colleagues Liz and Frances, who were talking about volcanoes, and Sally from Learning who was there to do some practical demonstrations.

As expected the security at the Palace was very tight. Most of the equipment and samples had already been shipped to the Palace, but all of our boxes with samples and equipment had to be x-rayed on the way in.

We took lots of meteorites with us, as well as volcanic rocks that the visitors could handle and some of our special samples including two Martian meteorites.

Caroline showing a Martian meteorite to the Duke of Gloucester © Crown/The Royal Society

Caroline showing a Martian meteorite to the Duke of Gloucester © Crown/The Royal Society

In addition to our rock samples, we also brought a largish cut-away model of a stratovolocano, which Liz and Frances used to explain where their mantle xenolith samples were coming from in the earth.

Mantle xenolith sample © Crown/The Royal Society

Mantle xenolith sample © Crown/The Royal Society

We also had microscopes which people could use to examine a thin section of rock, 3-D glasses to look at an image of crater made by a tiny meteorite (called a micrometeorite) in one of the Hubble Space Telescope Solar Cell panels while it was in orbit around the earth, and of course there was the chance to hold some meteorites.

We also took part in a mini-Nature Live on how we hunt for meteorites.

Sally was a big hit with the crowds. She was using custard powder to demonstrate how the rock that lies between the crust and mantle of the earth behaves!

There were lots of VIPs, including the Duke of Gloucester and Duke of Kent, and the evening included a reception with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, amongst a variety of scientific VIPs (including Stephen Hawking).

We had a great time, and leant a lot, as I hope, did the visitors!