0

The Epic Tale of a Meteorite Hunter’s Journey to Jail

via The Verge

For eight seconds, an eerie orange glow lit up the mesas and canyons of western Colorado with the intensity of the full Moon. Locals reported a bluish orb in the sky that burst into a yellow ball of flames and dissipated over the Gunnison Gorge, located 10 miles east of the city of Montrose. Moments later, they heard a crackling followed by a low rumble.

One observer was standing on a ridge when he felt his entire body reverberate, as if from the blast of a powerful speaker. Another man was driving west when he saw the flash in his rear-view mirror. He veered off the road, popped open his car door, and craned his neck to the horizon. “There was a bright light that just hung in the same spot with sparklers trailing off,” he recounted shortly afterward. Some residents called 911, believing they had witnessed a plane or helicopter crash.

That fireball in the sky on Thanksgiving Day 2002 turned out to be a rock from space. A video camera on the roof of Montrose High School, part of a state-wide astronomical network, captured images of the extraterrestrial object as it pierced the atmosphere at a speed of 36,000 miles per hour. The hunk of rock was about the size of a mini fridge, and when it flared up 60 miles over the Rocky Mountains, it did so with the force of 2.4 tons of TNT.

Montrose (population 19,132) isn’t the kind of place where you’d expect a lot of amateur astronomers. Founded in the late 1800s as a hub for mining and ranching, it had become just another windblown town in the West, filled with empty storefronts, mobile homes, and veterans cashing Social Security checks. But after Montrosians caught a glimpse of that shooting star, they kept looking up. An even brighter meteor burst over Main Street in May 2004. Four years later, another big one streaked across the sky to the northwest.

When a space rock passes through the atmosphere and lands on the ground, it’s called a meteorite. Finding one is a little like picking up a winning lottery ticket. Some of them may be worth just a few cents per gram. Others can sell for thousands of dollars. Meteorite hunters naturally started searching the hillsides above Montrose for debris, but most left empty-handed.

See and read more!


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 12,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

CircuitPython 2019!

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell with Google Hangouts On-Air is every Wednesday at 7:30pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/


Maker Business — What’s next for Indiegogo after leadership shakeup

Wearables — Turn up the volume

Electronics — Stay current with sourcing and sinking

Biohacking — Increase HRV with Biofeedback

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on hardware measures up, FEATHER soars, and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython #PythonHardware @circuitpython @micropython @ThePSF @Adafruit

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.