I can hardly believe that 2022 is already drawing to a close. I don’t know about you, but I feel like it went by in a flash. For me, this year has been quite a balancing act. Beyond collecting and photographing micrometeorites with Jan Braly Kihle, a few of this year’s highlights include:
- Opening a permanent section dedicated to micrometeorites at the Natural History Museum of Oslo;
- Exhibiting our work at two celebrated galleries, Biorama Projekt in Joachimsthal, Germany and Galleri Vanntårnet in Nesodden Kunstforening;
- Partnering in new studies with Dr. Irep Gözen (University of Oslo, investigating the origin of life), Dr. Martin Bizzarro (University of Copenhagen, investigating the origins of micrometeorites), and Dr. Roar Skartlien (IEP, investigating the formation of micrometeorites);
- Giving numerous lectures about micrometeorites at schools and universities in Europe; and
- Launching our first Fine Art collection on the new Project Stardust website.
Of course, when thinking back on the year, it would be impossible not to discuss some of my favorite micrometeorites from 2022. Selecting just a few micrometeorites from this season is quite a task, as I discovered over 900 micrometeorites between April to November; my most successful year yet! I will discuss each of these favorites with you now.
I simply can’t tell you how much I love hearing from you on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I would be absolutely delighted if you would share your hopes and dreams for 2023 with me there. I wonder what the new year will bring?
NMM 3193 (middle row, third column) is a barred olivine (BO-type) micrometeorite measuring approximately 0.3 mm that was discovered by yours truly on April 22, 2022 in Skjetten, Akershus, Norway. This aerodynamic ellipsoid particle has distinct polysomatic crystal domains and features stripy olivine crystals with some discrete bluish oxidation. Jan Braly Kihle and I broke a world record when we created the world’s highest resolution photograph of a micrometeorite live on Twitch. The single image of NMM 3193 is over a GB!
NMM 4028 (middle row, fifth column) is a barred olivine (BO-type) micrometeorite measuring approximately 0.2 mm that was discovered by yours truly on November 7, 2022 in Tårup, Funen, Denmark. This aerodynamic subspherical particle has a metal bead composed of nickel-iron in front and features classic stripy olivine crystals.
Measuring approximately 0.3 mm, NMM 3177 (middle row, first column) is a transitional micrometeorite featuring distinct characteristics of both barred olivine (BO-type) and cryptocrystalline (CC-type) micrometeorites. This elongated aerodynamic particle features beautiful olivine crystals and a nickel-iron metal bead with a sulfide rim in its middle, due to spin during atmospheric entry. It was discovered by yours truly on April 7, 2022 in Stavanger, Norway.
NMM 3231 (top row, fourth column) was discovered by yours truly in Askim, Østfold, Norway on April 26, 2022. Measuring approximately 0.4 mm, it is a striking porphyritic olivine (PO-type) micrometeorite measuring approximately 0.4 mm. This irregular, vesicular particle is a low-heated micrometeorite / barely-melted PO-type variety featuring rare, colorless olivine crystals composed of forsterite in colorless glass with chunks of nickel-iron and sulfide.
NMM 3369 (bottom row, fourth column) is a glass (V-type) spherule with one large and several small nickel-iron metal beads, featuring conical crystallization in the front and many gas vesicles in the back. It is mainly composed of chondritic glass, but its large nickel-iron bead in front is surrounded by a conical crystalline area. This strange 0.3 mm micrometeorite, which features foamy vesicles, was discovered by yours truly on June 25, 2022 in Kringsjå, Oslo, Norway.
NMM 3442 (top row, third column) is an olive green glass (V-type) spherule with a metal bead, conical crystallization in the front, and one large gas vesicle open in the middle. Measuring approximately 0.4 mm, this fascinating micrometeorite features chondritic glass and a nickel-iron bead in front surrounded by conical crystalline area. It was discovered by yours truly on August 8, 2022 in Kringsjå, Oslo, Norway.
NMM 3452 (bottom row, second column) is a perfect olive green chondritic glass (V-type) spherule measuring approximately 0.4 mm with small intact gas vesicles visible inside. Usually, glass micrometeorites have one large vesicle from degassing, this one has myriad. It reminds me of industrial particles that have many vesicles from “explosive heating”. Perhaps explosive heating caused by a high angle atmospheric entry with unusually rapid and strong temperature spikes could be responsible for this phenomenon, too? It was discovered by yours truly on August 12, 2022 next to Biorama Projekt in Joachimsthal, Germany.
Measuring approximately 0.3 mm, NMM 3517 (middle row, second column) is a light olive green glass (V-type) spherule with large central void bursted open in a large opening. It features small vesicles inside the glass walls, which are composed mainly of chondritic glass. This captivating micrometeorite was discovered by yours truly on August 15, 2022 in Skedsmo, Norway.
NMM 3661 (bottom row, first column) is a porphyritic olivine (PO-type) spherule featuring coarse olivine crystals held together by dark glass. Featured in our debut Winter 2022 Collection, this spellbinding micrometeorite is mainly composed of forsterite olivine crystals and chondritic glass. NMM 3661 measures 0.3 mm and was discovered by yours truly on August 22, 2022 in Skedsmo (Grove Knudsen), Norway.
NMM 3785 (bottom row, third column) is an ellipsoid iron (I-type) micrometeorite composed entirely of iron oxide, FeO, which is otherwise known as the mineral wüstite. The entire spherule is a metal bead and measures approximately 0.3 mm. It was discovered by yours truly on September 12, 2022 in Brånås, Norway.
NMM 3793 (middle row, fourth column) is a light translucent green elongated glass (V-type) micrometeorite that features a nickel-iron metal bead in the front surrounded by a conical crystalline area. Measuring approximately 0.5 mm and composed of chondritic glass and olivine crystals, this giant cosmic gem was discovered by yours truly on September 12, 2022 in Brånås, Norway.
NMM 3854 (bottom row, fifth column) is a rare star-shaped, cryptocrystalline (CC-type micrometeorite that somewhat appears like a cosmic umbrella. It features a gold-toned nickel-iron metal bead in the center with distinct pink oxidation. Measuring approximately 0.3 mm, NMM 3854 is composed mainly of forsterite olivine crystals and was discovered by yours truly on September 21, 2022 in Strömstad, Sweden.
NMM 3871 (top row, second column) is a pale golden aerodynamic cryptocrystalline (CC-type) droplet measuring approximately 0.3 mm that features a nickel-iron metal bead in the front, which is slightly off center axis. It is composed mainly of a forsterite olivine cryptocrystalline matrix. Discovered by yours truly on September 21, 2022 in Strömstad, Sweden, this mesmerizing gem is a true wonder.
NMM 4002 (top row, first column) is a glittering grey barred olivine (BO-type) aerodynamic particle that looks almost fused, like an ice cream cone with one scoop. Measuring approximately 0.3 mm, it is composed mainly of forsterite olivine crystals in glass, with magnetite “Christmas trees” on the surface. This fun cosmic treasure was discovered by yours truly on October 21, 2022 in Østre Aker vei, Oslo, Norway.
NMM 4008 (top row, fifth column) is a shiny black glass (V-type) spherule with a conical crystallization and a relatively large “white” metal bead (nickel-rich) in the front. Composed mainly of chondritic glass and measuring approximately 0.3 mm, this bewitching micrometeorite is sure to become a Project Stardust community favorite. Appropriately discovered by yours truly on October 21, 2022 in Østre Aker vei, Oslo, Norway.