[meteorite-list] Easton noting meteorite anniversary

From: Gerald Flaherty <grf2_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2007 14:52:21 -0400
Message-ID: <020901c785d8$87a16540$6402a8c0_at_Dell>

Hey Mike,
 Thanks a lot. As a New Englander[Plymouth, MA] I can appreciate the
significance of this particular meteorite.
200 years of New England weather in all likelihood has meant the "demise" of
any relics of this classic.
Yet it is encouraging to note that there is a strewnfield within 150 miles
of my home.
Jerry Flaherty
----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Groetz" <mpg444 at yahoo.com>
To: "Meteorite List" <meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com>
Sent: Monday, April 23, 2007 12:44 PM
Subject: [meteorite-list] Easton noting meteorite anniversary

> http://origin.connpost.com/localnews/ci_5724143
> Easton noting meteorite anniversary
> TONY SPINELLI tspinelli at ctpost.com
> Connecticut Post Online
> Article Launched:04/21/2007 11:13:04 PM EDT
> It's a 28-pound rock, colored gray and brown, the kind
> you might stumble across on a hike through an old New
> England quarry.
> But there's a lot of historical significance to the
> chunk of stone, which was plucked from an Easton field
> in this rural town and placed on permanent display at
> the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale
> University in New Haven.
> It is believed to be the first recorded meteorite to
> hit the United States. The find was so earth-shaking
> at the time that President Thomas Jefferson was
> skeptical.
> Members of the Easton Historical Society have been
> thinking about the stone a lot these days, because
> Dec. 14 will mark the 200th anniversary of when it
> blazed out of the northern sky in the pre-dawn hours
> and exploded over Easton. The historical society is
> planning a reception in honor of the anniversary for
> the fall. There will also be a visit to an
> observatory, said Lynne Geane, president of the
> society.
> "We are very excited about this," Geane said last
> week, before a visit to the museum to take another
> look at the stone and, perhaps, get permission to
> borrow it.
> The rock is on exhibit with a number of other
> meteorites, said Barbara Narenda, archivist of
> meteorites at the museum.
> It is called the "Weston Meteorite," because Easton
> was a part of Weston at the time.
> Technically, the meteorite is called a chondrite,
> meaning that it contains chondrules, microscopic to
> marble-sized spherical globs of silicates from the
> earliest solar nebula, sometimes pre-dating even
> planetary formation, according to the Web site
> novaspace.com.
> "It's not the first meteorite to hit the United
> States, but it is the first to be recorded," Narenda
> said.
> In 1807, when the meteorite struck, the local
> population was limited to a couple of hundred
> farmsteads separated by stone walls, streams, and
> woods, said Frank Pagliaro, a member of the research
> committee for the historical society.
> At the time, two professors from Yale, Benjamin
> Silliman and James L. Kingsley, immediately went to
> investigate. They found what they were looking for in
> a field. The rock they found 200 years ago is the one
> that remains on display.
> When Jefferson, who was president at the time, heard
> the story, he was skeptical. It is rumored he said, "I
> would more easily believe that two Yankee professors
> would lie than that stones would fall from heaven."
> Another story version of story has Jefferson saying
> the find was "all a lie." What is known is that
> Jefferson ordered a new investigation of the story,
> which supported the Yale professors' findings.
> While fewer than 10 softball-sized meteorites were
> found, Pagliaro said, it is possible that Easton's
> fields and woods contain more samples.
> "This spring, as you are turning over the soil in your
> garden or field, keep an eye out for rocks that look
> unlike any of those that make up Easton's many stone
> walls. These stony meteorites have a black, cracked
> surface like old leather and a granular interior,"
> Pagliaro wrote in a letter to society members.
> The meteorites are 17 to 20 percent iron, which
> oxidizes like an old gate and gives the rocks a rust
> color. The iron content also makes them heavier than
> they appear to be for their size.
> "Think of one in your hands as the weight of history,"
> he said.
> The streaking fireball was a light show to behold in
> the days before there were such things as electric
> lights. The metorite was seen speeding across the sky
> in Vermont and Massachusetts. Moments after it
> vanished over Easton, Pagliaro said the quiet morning
> air was shattered by several thunderous booms.
> Within seconds, the showers of stones fell from the
> sky over an area 10 miles long and four miles wide.
> The area of falling stones stretched from the Stepney
> area of Monroe to the southern part of Sport Hill Road
> in Easton.
> That's a lot of rock. And it's a unique claim to fame
> for a town that many people from out-of-town think of
> only as a place to buy farm-cut Christmas trees,
> festive wreaths and orchard apples.
> "We want to get the word out about this," Geane said.
> Tony Spinelli, who covers Monroe and Easton, can be
> reached at330-6361.
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Received on Mon 23 Apr 2007 02:52:21 PM PDT

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