Category Archives: Just for Fun

The unexplained, interesting Apps, aliens and more

The Willamette Meteorite

The Willamette Meteorite (following from Wikipedia)

 The Willamette Meteorite, originally known as Tomanowos by the Clackamas Chinook Native American tribe, is an iron-nickel meteorite found in the U.S. state of Oregon. It is the largest meteorite in the United States and the sixth largest in the world. There was no impact crater at the discovery site; researchers believe the meteorite landed in what is now Canada or Montana, and was transported as a glacial erratic to the Willamette Valley during the Missoula Floods at the end of the last Ice Age (~13,000 years ago). It has long been held sacred by indigenous peoples of the Willamette Valley,

including the federally recognized Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon (CTGRC). undefined

The meteorite is on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, which acquired it in 1906. Having been seen by an estimated 40 million people over the years, and given its striking appearance, it is among the most famous meteorites. In 2005, the CTGRC sued to have the meteorite returned to their control, ultimately reaching an agreement that gave the tribe access to the meteorite while allowing the museum to keep it as long as they are exhibiting it.

Physical characteristics and formation

Close-up of the meteorite

The Willamette Meteorite weighs about 34,200 pounds (15,500 kg). It is classified as a type III iron meteorite, being composed of over 91% iron and 7.62% nickel, with traces of cobalt and phosphorus. The approximate dimensions of the meteorite are 10 feet (3 m) tall by 6.5 feet (2 m) wide by 4.25 feet (1.3 m) deep. Most iron meteorites like Willamette originated from the differentiated core of planetesimals or asteroids that collided with another object. Willamette has a recrystallized structure with only traces of a medium Widmanstätten pattern; it results from a significant impact-heating event on the parent body. The Willamette Meteorite contains higher concentrations of various metals that are quite rare in Earth’s crust. For example, iridium, one of the least abundant elements in Earth’s crust, is found in the Willamette Meteorite at a concentration of 4.7 ppm, thousands of times more concentrated than in the crust.

The Asteroid Belt

The Asteroid Belt

One of the theories regarding the Asteroid Belt (located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter) is that it contains the remnants of a planet that occupied that space. I question that assumption. If true the planet would have been very, very small (only about 1/4 the size of the moon) and not qualify as a planet. Interestingly there is a round planetoid “Ceres” that comprises about 1/3 of the total mass of the asteroid belt. Why is the only body with that shape? Where did it originate? What theory explains the presence of Ceres and the small amount of mass comprising the belt?

What is your Talent?

What is your Talent?

We all have a “special” talent. Some have more than one. Mine is the ability to hear a voice and recognize the owner (in most cases). My 2nd wife (Cynthia, who passed away in 1999) had an unbelievable ability to recognize faces even when they were in disguise. One of several times was when we stayed at a Hilton in New Jersey. The was a very tall black man at the check-in counter and Cindi said, “Look over there that’s Dr. J”. Knowing that she was not a basketball fan I was amazed. When I asked how she knew she told me she had seen him once in a magazine. Another time we were standing in line at an airline check-in counter at the LA Airport when she said “Look ahead, that woman ahead of us is the actress Kathleen Quinlan”. She had short hair and wore faded and well-worn jeans. I had seen her in several films and was convinced that my spouse was wrong. We ended up on the same flight to Cabo after I accosted her with “Excuse me, but are you, Kathleen Quinlan?”. Cindi had nailed it again. My wife Jeanette has several talents. Among them is her knitting. Despite only having one arm, she is very quick and capable of very complex patterns. Another is her ability at Sudoku. I often have to ask for her help when I am stumped and she always has the solution. My favorite of her talents is her ability to find items that I have lost.

Recognizing talents is an opportunity for all of us to complement our friends.