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Mikestang last won the day on June 6 2017

Mikestang had the most liked content!

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About Mikestang

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    34°29'35"N 116°59'3"W
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  1. I thought it might be interesting to share here the journey of helping my friend Fred get an iron meteorite classified. I posted this on another forum, but thought some folks here may get something out of it as well. Items quoted in italics are direct excerpts from emails written by the parties as indicated. _____________________________________________________ In 2013, with the assistance of Geoff Notkin, Fred's iron was sent to Dr. Laurence Garvie at ASU for analysis. I don't have an exact date, but as is often the case with meteorites it can take a long time to have them studied. A year passed, and in May of 2014 we all followed up with ASU to see if they had time to look at the iron yet. By the end of June 2014, Dr. Garvie informed us that he had sent a small piece to Dr. John Wasson at UCLA for INAA analysis. Dr. Wasson only runs a few INAA studies a year, and each study takes about 4 four months to complete (two irradiation sessions and two weeks data acquisition). In July of 2014 Dr. Garvie wrote that the INAA run was scheduled for August, and that he had "...etched a small end piece and am now not so sure that it looks like a Campo. I’ll see if I can snap a picture soon and send it out. I may even be seeing a heat affected rim around one edge -which would imply the stone is fairly fresh. If I use my imagination, I even think I see some patches of fusion crust." Unfortunately, Dr. Wasson receives several "new irons" every year that turn out to not be so new, but rather someone trying to pass something off as a new discovery. By November of 2015 the iron had still not been analyzed, so I contacted Dr. Garvie and asked if he could return the iron so that we could pursue other avenues to have it studied. The iron was sent back to me in December 2015. I reached out directly to Dr. Wasson and learned that he had actually analyzed the first sample and had asked Dr. Garvie for a second sample, which was sent to him by ASU at the same time the entire mass was sent back to me. Dr. Wasson had other irons with priority for his INAA runs, but he informed me that he did intend to further analyze the samples in March or April of 2016. He also asked Fred to provide the accounts of the iron's discovery, it's total mass, and other pertinent information. On May 23, 2016, Dr. Wasson was finilizing the INAA data acquisition and the results were indicating similar composition to Campo del Cielo, however, he noted that there were "...hints of small differences" and asked me to send one more sample for a follow up analysis to be performed in the next INAA run set for spring of 2017. I sent the mass to Montana Meteorite Laboratory to have a sample of clean iron with no inclusions or weathering products prepared for Dr. Wasson. We also had several slices of the meteorite prepared, as well as a type specimen to be donated upon conclusion of the classification process (a picture of these pieces is included at the bottom of this post). Below is a picture of the final sample sent to Dr. Wasson for analysis: On May 25, 2017 I received the following email from Dr. Wasson: "Michael I have the data. I haven’t yet fully digested it, but I will try to do that on the weekend and then prepare a note for you and Fred. The bad news is that, like the first data, the composition seems to fall within the range of Campo irons. This means it will take additional work to show that it is worthy of a name. I’ll write you soon. John" The results of the INAA analysis are presented below: Cr Co Ni Cu Ga As Ru Sb W Re Os Ir Pt Au µg/g mg/g mg/g µg/g µg/g µg/g µg/g ng/g µg/g ng/g µg/g µg/g µg/g µg/g Bart iron 11 4.49 65.3 157 88.5 11.0 6.6 255 1.22 446 4.9 4.13 7.5 1.468 Bart iron 25 4.46 67.4 111 90.7 11.1 6.8 339 1.28 382 5.1 4.08 8.8 1.446 Bart iron 18 4.48 66.4 134 89.6 11.0 6.7 297 1.25 414 5.0 4.10 8.2 1.457 While these results also showed a strong similarity to the Campo iron, Fred's account of this iron's discovery was reasonable and substantiated by other parties, so the wheels of science ground on. I was contacted again by Dr. Wasson a year later on June 18, 2018. He was preparing a paper on iron meteorites with similar compositions to Campo del Cielo and he was including Fred's iron in his study. In order to be included in scientific literature the iron must be recognized with an official name in the MetBull. I received an email from Jérôme Gattacceca, Editor of the Meteoritical Bulletin of the Meteoritical Cosiety, on June 21, 2018, informing me that Fred's iron was before the Nomenclature Committee and they were considering a Nova number for it unless we could provide a precise account on how the meteorite was found. I sent Mr. Gattacceca Fred's story of how he came to be in possession of the iron and assured him that a type specimen would be donated to UCLA. On June 22nd the vote was opened by the Nomenclature Committee to decide between a Nova number or Elmore County. On June 30, 2018, the meteorite was approved and entered in MetBull 107 with its official name: Elmore County https://www.lpi.usra.edu/meteor/metbull.php?code=67626. On July 2, 2018 I hand delivered the type specimen to Dr. Wasson at his office at UCLA.
  2. I've been to Holbrook in the winter once, back in 2016, and found the ground surface much different than when hunting during monsoon season in the summer - it wasn't as meteorite-finding friendly. And for a so. Cal. warm blood like me it was bloody freezing. A friend and I spent two days hunting and only made "two" finds. I put 2 in quotes because one find was a small cluster of a rock that had broken apart.
  3. Mikestang

    TV show Meteorite Men

    Carbon dating is certainly not used in meteorite identification. CRE is useful in determining how long a meteorite has been sitting on the Earth; however, your rocks have yet to be confirmed as meteorites. It's a simple process to get a meteorite classified.
  4. The first meteorite I ever found. I've been back to Holbrook every year since and been fortunate enough to never leave empty handed. Finds from 2018. 68g Franconia found sans detector (batteries had died). 2014 California dry lake find My cold find, Blackhawk Mountain
  5. Mikestang

    TV show Meteorite Men

    So get a lab to analyze them and put it to bed.
  6. One looks like slag or lava rock (all the vesicles), the other looks like an old piece of man-made iron.
  7. Mikestang


    Eye-witness testimony to any event, contrary to popular belief, is mostly unreliable. This has been well documented with respect to criminal prosectutions, e.g. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-the-eyes-have-it/ https://www.apa.org/monitor/apr06/eyewitness.aspx etc.
  8. Mikestang

    $100,000.00 Doorstop

    Whenever I see a rock propping open a door I always give it a close look, you never know...
  9. Mikestang

    Is this a lunar meteorite?

    Clasts in lunar meteorites/breccia are very angular as there is nothing to erode them smooth on the moon. All of the clasts in your rock are well-rounded.
  10. Mikestang

    Meteorite or meteowrong? :3

    Looks like lava rocks, all the vesicles.
  11. Mikestang

    Holbrook Finds

    A lot of the parcels are owned by trusts, also. A huge portion south of the tracks has no ownership info. Some day I'll do some research and see if any of the parcels are of the sorts where you just need to pay the back taxes and then assume ownership.
  12. Mikestang

    Holbrook Finds

    It's amazing that everyone parks right there, yet almost every year more meteorites pop out of the ground in that same general area. That's where I found my 45g Holbrook earlier this year. There's a legal track crossing at the east end of the strewn field, you can see the signal poles from the end of Sun Valley Road.
  13. Mikestang

    Holbrook Finds

    It's all private property there, but I think most of the people that live in campers just squat there. The one long-time camper resident appears to have abandon his home as of my last visit there, but his little parcel was fenced so he may have been a valid owner. I still want to try to purchase a piece of property in the strewn field just because it would be neat.
  14. Mikestang

    Holbrook Finds

    I look for sexy meteorites. Side note: there is no research showing that either sex is more intelligent. Males do have larger brains, but that's about the only factually accurate statement that can be made in that regard.