When I was a child, I loved picking up pebbles, I chose them for their shapes or colours. At that same time my father began teaching me about astronomy.
He taught me the way to tell apart a planet from a star : the light of a planet is the reflected light of the sun, a non-flickering light ; a star, on the other hand, being it’s own light source, twinkles. Astronomy is looked upon as the most ancient of sciences. Some now vanished Neolithic civilizations already had knowledge in this field. They took an interest in the phases of the moon, in the equinoxes, and knew how to identify some constellations.
As a kid, when I gazed at the stars with my pockets full of pebbles, in my heart I knew that some of those pebbles had come a long long way, from the stars, from another galaxy.
And now, still, my fascination for those pebbles has remained intact.
A Gift from the Gods
Since the dawn of time, man has always been fascinated by shooting stars. The Egyptians believed these objects falling from the sky were divine messages. The blade of King Tutankhamen’s dagger was made from a meteorite: a truly otherworldly royal treasure.
Meteorites were so rare that they were infinitely more valuable than gold. In the Bible, they guided people and announced events. Scientists believe that it was meteorites and comets that brought water and life to Earth.
The symbolism of the meteorite serves to amplify our own positive and creative energies.
The first fragment of Muonionalusta was found in 1906 in Sweden near the polar circle by two children playing. The first description can be dated back to 1910. It was named « Muonionalusta » after the nearby river Muonio around which it was found.
The Muonionalusta is probably the oldest meteorite known to man. It is hypothesized that it fell on earth around a million years ago.
It’s age coincides with that of the birth of the solar system, more or less 4,5 billion years.
Types of meteorite
We can consider three types of meteorite:
- Stony meteorite
- Stony–iron meteorite
the Widmanstätten Pattern
Meteorites are probably the oldest existing objects on earth. Amongst these planetary “cores” or “hearts” that eventually reach our Earth, only a very small number display the special features that we are looking for. With the naked eye one can see a network of bands called the Widmanstätten pattern (or Thomson pattern). These patterns are the result of a very long cooling period during which time the material decreased in temperature by one degree Centigrade each million years. These patterns do not exist on the Earth with the possible exception of on a microscopic scale.
Meteorites with this patterns are extremely rare.