Cosmic dust particles fall upon us, everywhere and at all times. Some of them have melted completely, forming into delicate glass, like this new micrometeorite Jan and I photographed yesterday.
NMM 4012 is a glass (V-type) micrometeorite measuring approximately 0.4 mm. Upon atmospheric entry it melted completely and the nickel-iron metal components formed a metal core. This bead then migrated to the front of the micrometeorite during the subsequent deceleration, whereas the volatile gases (water, carbon, etc) expanded, and escaped out the back.
The result is a delicate “glass bowl” from space. Note how the small gas vesicles trapped inside the glass are reflected in the concave inner wall of the central void. The slightly greenish color is from traces of iron.
The roof pictured below is where this spectacular stone was found. It is wet and cold here in Norway now, so I gathered everything from the roof into a garbage sack and processed it at home. This way the micrometeorite hunting season can be expanded. As long as there is no frost, there is hope. The weather forecast, however, informed me today that snow is on its way. So, goodbye stardust hunting! Get back to you in the spring (April around here).
If you’re wondering what micrometeorites are or have any other questions about stardust, click here to learn more on the Project Stardust website for free.