Meet this beautiful barred olivine (BO-type) micrometeorite, NMM 455, my first “giant”, which is an ironic term on an object barely exceeding half a millimetre. Nevertheless, it is a big micrometeorite. The stone was found in the rain gutter of a local taxi station. Waiting drivers were watching in perplexed silence while I climbed the ladder and did my thing.
The subsequent examination of the debris revealed this beautiful barred olivine stone, the most common type of micrometeorite, which is composed mainly of forsterite. As many as one third of cosmic spherules has this characteristic texture. The stripes are parallel olivine crystal plates glued together with glass and small magnetite crystals made of iron oxide. Note the changing orientation of the stripes of each crystal domain. In the crevices between them the olivine crystals have grown extra-large, like crystal bugs. Also note the aerodynamic orientation; the front is up in this hi-resolution color photo by Jan Braly Kihle and me.
I wish the taxi drivers could have fully understood that I was harvesting treasures from space in the rain gutter during their coffee break. I told them, but you know, not everyone can appreciate the significance of this work. It’s like this with all science and art, I suppose. When I think of the people I chat with regularly on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, I feel deeply grateful for this community.
As always, if you have questions or a comment, please reach out to me on social media and know that both appreciated. Enjoy!