[meteorite-list] Fourth-grader Finds Meteorite in Florida?

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2007 14:06:01 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <200711202206.OAA04302_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Fourth-grader finds meteorite in yard
November 18, 2007

CEDAR KEY - A fourth-grader got a personal, hands-on lesson in
meteorites earlier this week.

Jeremiah Barnes, 10, was the featured speaker in science classes at
Cedar Key School Friday, where he explained how he saw the meteorite
fall into his yard at the beginning of the week.

After seeing an object streak into the yard, Jeremiah told high school
classes he initially thought one of his cousins had thrown something
over the fence. After running over to the object and touching it,
Jeremiah said he knew it was something extraordinary.

"It burned my finger so I ran in the house and got my sister," Jeremiah

After seeing a blister rise on her brother's index finger, Angel Neese,
a 14-year-old ninth-grader, doused the object with water from the garden
house. Brother and sister watched in fascination as the water being
poured into the shoebox-sized hole made by the object instantly began

"It kind of looked like lava from a volcano, but then I remembered what
we learned in [eighth-grade] science class. And I kind of thought it
would be a meteorite," Angel said. After the object cooled, Angel
pointed out the metals in it to her little brother and explained what
she remembered about objects superheating when they entered the Earth's

Jeremiah presented the molten lump to high school science teacher
Richard Whitman, who confirmed it was a meteorite and called the
astronomy department at the University of Florida to try to figure out
the odds of a fourth-grader in the state's smallest public school
actually seeing a meteorite hit the ground.

"Not a real likely event," Whitman said. "For anyone."

Jeremiah said he plans to keep the meteorite and is cautious about who
gets to handle his new treasure. After telling his story to the high
school science students, Jeremiah answered questions, then walked from
desk to desk allowing the teenagers to look and touch, but being careful
to make sure it remained over a desk to reduce the risk of an accidental

"I want to make sure I have it always, and it doesn't ever get broken,"
Jeremiah said.
Received on Tue 20 Nov 2007 05:06:01 PM PST

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