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Last Friday the confirmation came: the first meteorite was discovered in Israel

Geophysics / A science enthusiast from Kibbutz Afikim found a 4.5 billion year old meteorite weighing about 40 grams in the Timna region

 A meteorite found by a member of Kibbutz Afikim

Shaked and the "chondrite". Kolodny: "It's not a scientific sensation, it's just nice that Shaked opened his eyes, searched and found"


Since he was a four-year-old boy in Hungary, Gabriel Shaked of Kibbutz Apikim has been looking for meteorites on the ground. A year and a half ago he found what he was looking for in the Timna area. He identified a black, small and heavy stone, which a few days ago - when it finally became clear that it was once part of an asteroid - was officially crowned as the first meteorite discovered in Israel.

"To date, no meteorite has been found in Israel," says Dr. Shmulik Marko, from the Department of Geophysics at Tel Aviv University. "The universities in Israel don't know about any shards that have been found; But I do not rule out the possibility that some child once found a meteorite, put it in his pocket, and it is placed on the radio receiver in his house."

This is a relatively common meteorite of the "chondrite" type, hundreds of which have already been discovered around the world. "It's not a scientific sensation, it's just nice that Shaked opened his eyes, searched and found," says Prof. Yehoshua Kolodani, a geologist from the Hebrew University. "It's very beautiful, but there are a lot of chondrites in the world, and they also found chondrites that weigh more than a ton. It's simply the first chondrite they found here."

The stone was found by the astronomical mobile team of the "Science Flowers" project from the Jordan Valley College, where Shaked works. The team conducts educational activities in schools equipped with a mobile planetarium, telescopes and a model of a rocket. About a year and a half ago, the mobile team went out to look for meteorites in the Timna area. "This was already the third search tour," said Shaked yesterday, "I am an amateur astrogeologist, and I look for meteorites instinctively. The area of ​​Timna and Eilat is geologically very interesting, but it is difficult to distinguish it from meteorites: there are granite and basalt rocks there, which are as dark in color as the meteorites."

The small meteorite - which weighs about 40 grams and is about 4 cm long - attracted Shaked's attention from the first moment: "The stone was heavy because of the relatively high percentage of iron; Its corners are more reminiscent of a pebble - it is not a piece broken from a rock on Earth; And its shell is black, from the fire at the entrance to the atmosphere." He took the stone, and when he got home he sent a sample of it for testing at the Institute of Geophysics at the University of California.

Last Friday the reply letter arrived: the University of California confirmed that it was a meteorite. Tests in the USA revealed that the age of the chondrite is about 4.5 billion years. However, according to the little weathering since its landing, it seems that it has been on Earth for a relatively short time - a few decades or hundreds of years. According to its composition, it seems that the meteorite originated from the asteroid Hebe6, from which many of the chondrites found on Earth came. The institute asked Shaked to transfer additional data on the stone to the US Meteorological Society (place and time of finding the stone, its weight, etc.), in order to catalog it as accepted.

According to Dr. Marko, chondrite has a special structure, according to which it is easily recognized under a microscopic examination. "Chondrite has chondrules - spherical concentrates that contain volatile components, such as water for example - and other crystals whose melting temperature is very high", he explains. "The importance of chondrite is that it is a material that has not undergone melting, unlike all the materials found in the planets. If it were to melt, the materials in the chondrules would evaporate. That part of the chondrite that was heated upon entering the atmosphere has evaporated, and cannot be found. The meteorite is primary material, from the beginning of the formation of the solar system, and did not go through the processes of melting on the planets."

The meteorites that are discovered are divided into two types: those whose fall was observed by a person, who then looked for and found them, called "Falls" and those that were found by chance, and called "Finds" like the meteorite found by Shaked. "In a year there are about five-six cases of Falls," says Prof. Kolodny, "and about twice as many, Finds, 90% of which are chondrites. On the Internet you can buy 100 grams of meteorites from Libya, the Sahara or Saudi Arabia for $200. Not every meteorite is researched, and if no one finds interest in the Israeli meteorite, it is very likely that the research will end in its catalog."

 By: Uri S, Haaretz, Walla News!

6 תגובות

  1. For those who know how to identify meteors, I have .. those who are interested I will send pictures .... I live in the desert always find .... but I do not know how to identify stones from a meteor

  2. Goodbye to Gabriel Shaked

    As part of my work I found what I believe to be a small meteorite, I showed it to a geologist and he told me he had never seen such a stone. It is very similar to the stone you are holding in the picture, except that it is smaller. The main signs: shiny, high specific gravity, looks like a block of metal, but does not magnetize at all. I was told by a geologist that the stone needs to go to the Geological Institute to download a piece for analysis in order to define it .
    Instead of an invention, there are other ordinary stones "smeared" with a material and color similar to a "meteorite"

    My name is Zohar Barkai Kibbutz Dan Tel 0522468637

  3. Today, April 11.4.07, XNUMX, I noticed that rain was coming from the roof (shingles). I went up to the roof and noticed an amazing meteorite that fell on the roof and broke a shingle.
    This is a metallic heavenly gram, partly silver and also golden, amazing in its beauty, anyone who understands this is welcome to contact me

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