04-01-2017 Tony Irving: Meteorites

About the Talk

Meteorites—Exotic Fragments of Other Planets and Asteroids

Meteorites are extraterrestrial rocks or metal-rich objects that fall onto our planet.  Sometimes those that survive entry through our atmosphere are found and analyzed.  However, until 1492 when the Ensisheim meteorite was seen falling to Earth in France, the idea of rocks from space was not accepted.  Since then and especially over the past 20 years, this field of study (meteoritics) has grown significantly due in large part to the recovery of many new specimens, especially from the barren deserts of Northern Africa.  Meteorite samples can be quite valuable as collector items.

Dr. Irving’s presentation will describe how research on meteorites is conducted and how the results have greatly expanded our knowledge of the history of the Moon, Mars, and bodies within the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter.

About the Speakers

Tony Irving, UW professor and world expert on meteorites, holds one of his meteorite samples that have been dated at 4.6 billion years. He is an international expert in meteorites, having identified more than 1500 samples from Northwest Africa, Oman, China and the USA and published over 90 articles in international journals and books.  He received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Australia.

In addition to Tony’s lecture, local meteorite collector Eric Twelker will be on hand to display some samples of meteorites from his extensive collection. Eric Twelker of Port Townsend has been a lawyer, organic farmer, and geologist. However, his passion has been meteorites.  Eric’s online business, the MeteoriteMarket.com, is twenty-two years old and was the first meteorite catalog available on the internet in 1995.