Subtitle: A southern African perspective
Author: Ronnie McKenzie
Genre: Meteorite collecting
Publisher: Random House Struik
Cape Town, South Africa 2014
ISBN 9781775840985 / ISBN 978-1-77584-098-5
Softcover, 15 x 21 cm, 120 pages, throughout colour photographs
Meteorites have been the source of cult worship, they have been treated as ceremonial objects and their prized iron content was used by early humans for tool making. Their sometimes fiery arrival added to the mystery surrounding the appearance of unusual stones. Meteorites are the remains of meteors that have landed on Earth. Meteors are frequently observed in the night sky as streaks of light. They are pieces of space debris, mostly small rocks or even particles of dust that enter the Earth's atmosphere and quickly burn up before reaching the ground. However, sometimes the particles are large enough and other conditions favourable to enable the meteor to pass through the atmosphere and reach the Earth's surface, at which point the resultant stones are known as meteorites. Such meteorites can range in size from a pinhead to a large body weighing many tons, although they are generally between a marble and a football in size.
The world's largest known meteorite is the 60t Hoba meteorite, which was discovered in 1920 by a farmer on his property in Namibia, and is now a national monument. In principle, it is possible to find meteorites virtually anywhere on Earth, although most land unobserved and are never found. It is farmers, walkers, game rangers or even local residents who are most likely to find these strange 'stones from space' while out in the countryside. Most meteorites that are found are in dry desert locations where darker stones are easier to spot against a less-vegetated and light, sandy background, and where they also tend to last longer as a result of the dry climate, which prevents oxidation (rusting). Meteorites: A Southern African Perspective is a handy basic guide for anyone interested in entering the field of meteorite collecting.
What are meteorites?
From meteors to meteorites
Where do meteorites come from?
What are meteorites made of?
Falls and finds
Age of meteorites
Where to find meteorites
CLASSIFICATION OF METEORITES
INVESTING IN METEORITES
Value of meteorites
STATUS 0F METEORITES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA
Meteorites and the law
SIGNIFICANT METEORITE FALLS OR FINDS
Botswana meteorite - waiting to be found?