[meteorite-list] Historical Society to Celebrate Weston Meteorite Fall

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2007 16:55:00 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <200711012355.QAA15598_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Historical Society to celebrate meteor's fall
Fairfield Minuteman
November 1, 2007

Seen any magnetized rocks in your back yard lately? If so, you are in
possession of a small piece of Easton history.
The Historical Society of Easton is celebrating this year the 200th
anniversary of the fall of the Weston meteorite, an event that has
remained a scientific and historical subject of inquiry since before
Easton was Easton.

On Dec. 14, 1807, several local residents of unimpeachable reputation
recalled seeing a fireball in the sky and hearing several loud booms. It
was the first recorded meteorite impact in North America.
To this day, it's called the "Weston meteorite," "though not a speck of
it fell in what's now Weston," explained Lynne Geane, president of the
Historical Society of Easton. "It actually struck the ground on the
eastern side of Easton."

Nathan Wheeler, for example, a former town selectman, was one of the
locals who testified to the events of the day. Wheeler saw the fireball,
heard the three sonic booms, and later found a strange hunk of rock in
his farm.

"People on that side of town found rocks in their yards," Geane said.
"It was the first recorded in North America. People before then did not
believe that rocks could just fall from the sky."

Many local residents, Geane said, keep fragments of the Weston meteorite
as pieces of memorabilia, though, more often than not, they turn out to
be just rocks. Yale University's Peabody Museum does maintain a large
chunk of the Weston meteorite in its permanent collection and Yale's
Prof. Benjamin Silliman came to a recent meeting of the historical
society to give a talk on the subject.

Several residents brought their own meteorite fragments for the
professor's examination though most were debunked as false.
Still, Geane said it is still possible to find fragments in a yard.
Pieces of the meteorite, she said, have "a very high iron content" and
"are very highly magnetized."

The Historical Society of Easton will be partnering with the Weston
Historical Society in December in celebration of the anniversary. On
Dec. 14, at 7:30 p.m., at Weston High School, a panel of four experts
will discuss the events of that December night 200 years ago and their
significance to science. In addition, the historical society is readying
a time capsule to be buried at the Easton Public Library and opened 200
years hence.

Though she said the time capsule would contain examples of "present day
life," when interviewed earlier this month, Geane could not say what
specifically would be entombed in the time capsule.
"We're still working on that," she said.

In a free talk on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 5 p.m., Yale Professor of Geology
& Geophysics Karl K. Turekian, curator of the Peabody's Division of
Meteorites and Planetary Science, will explain what meteorites tell us
about the composition of planet-forming objects, the age of our Solar
System, the stellar sources of the elements found in meteorites, and a
record of events as the planets were formed.

In addition, on Saturday, Dec 8 and 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the
Peabody will commemorate the 200th anniversary of this event with a
hands-on display of meteorites. The Weston meteorite in on view in the
Hall of Minerals, Earth and Space at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural
History, 170 Whitney Avenue, New Haven.
Received on Thu 01 Nov 2007 07:55:00 PM PDT

Help support this free mailing list:

Yahoo MyWeb