[meteorite-list] Meteorite expert on tour in 100 Mile House
Darren Garrison cynapse at charter.net
Wed Jul 5 22:58:47 EDT 2006
Meteorite expert on tour in 100 Mile House
By Iris Phillips
Free Press staff
Jul 05 2006
Think you might have come across a meteorite?
Want to be sure?
Well, the meteorite man is visiting 100 Mile and hell help you identify that
strange rock at a show hes hosting July 13 at the Chartreuse Moose from 4-6
Adrian Karolko, is a geology student at the University of Calgary and is
spending the summer researching meteorites with The Prairie Meteorite Search.
Hes travelling across B. C. sharing his passion for meteorites by holding
presentations in various communities.
Im becoming known as the meteorite man, he said, adding that he suspects
there are some meteorites in the 100 Mile area.
Theyve been falling for millions of years so it just adds up that there has to
be something here, said Karolko, who is a geology student at the University of
About 7,000 meteorites hit the earth every year but only 68 have been found in
Canada thus far, said Karolko.
The Prairie Meteorite Search has been operational for six years and has only
Karolko explained that most of the research has been done in the flat terrain of
the prairies because its easier to find them there, rather than in the bush.
I think I might have identified one in Prince George, but when I really think
about it... maybe not.
So although Karolko gets to spend his summer travelling across beautiful B. C.,
actually finding a meteorite is difficult. He said a lot are found in fields,
and often there may be finds where glaciers collided and later melted. In those
instances a metal detector, or magnet can help with the search.
And theres always word of mouth.
You can be sure though that someone always walks in with a story, he said,
noting that many people see meteorite fireballs in the sky.
The difficulty is in determining where they might have landed.
Karolko said people interested in finding a meteorite need to keep a close eye
on rocks and look for something that just doesnt fit.
And there are ways of determining if that strange rock is an actual meteorite.
First youll notice the weight, he said.
Meteorites are very dense and they feel almost like holding a piece of iron.
The second thing to look for is whether they are magnetic.
All meteorites are magnetic, he explained.
Thirdly, the meteorite will have a kind of black layer
that was created from the friction which causes the fireball look as it travels
through the air.
There is so much friction it actually melts the outer surface of the metal, he
Meteorites also have a series of dimples usually on the side that it travelled
towards the earth.
Finally, meteorites also have tiny wave marks that look like the lines on a fish
fin but may only be visible through a magnifying glass.
One of the meteorites that Karolko will be displaying is 4.6 billion years old.
One is from the Peace River area, another is a part of the Canyon Diablo meteor
crater in Colorado and a third comes from Russia.
Meteorites are a collectible item and Karolko said they usually sell for between
$1-$10 a gram. Some have sold for between $250 and $1000 a gram.
So the value is there, he said.
Karolko explained that meteorites do not cause fires, nor do they burn. He said
they are out and cold when they hit the ground. They burn while they are
travelling through the air at a minimum 11 km per minute but when they stop
emitting light they are actually falling and their velocity is zero.
So they wont cause a fire, he said.
Karolko is fascinated by meteorites and he expects
that many people will be bringing in their rocks for him to identify but others
will simply want to come and learn about them.
Its not every day you get to touch something that is 6-billion-years-old, he
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