On February 1, 2011, my new book, Meteorite Hunting: How To Find Treasure From Space was published.
We were eager to have it ready for the 2011 Tucson gem and mineral shows, so I did the actual writing in record time, but it was the product of about fifteen years of work.
In the Acknowledgements section, I wrote that I was thanking the people who not only "helped directly with the book, but also those who helped me gain the knowledge and experience that I would need in order to write it." My view is that if you're writing a how-guide to something, you really need to know your subject. It has been seventeen years since I found my first meteorite, and one of the remarkable things about my work is I am always learning new things, developing new techniques and hunting strategies, testing new equipment, and gathering additional knowledge about the strange and fascinating world of meteorites. If I had written Meteorite Hunting even a year earlier, it would have not been the book that it is. Our successes in the field while filming Meteorite Men Season Two added to its content, because we had unique experiences while hunting for meteorites north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden and in the Australian Outback, and also had the extraordinary pleasure of pitching our tents on the floor of Chile's mangificent Monturaqui meteorite crater.
My friend Chris Cokinos, author of my favorite meteorite book The Fallen Sky, did me the great honor of writing the Introduction, and astronomer and asteroid specialist Dr. Larry Lebofsky and his wife Nancy, carried out a stellar job as editors. My Meteorite Men co-host, Steve Arnold, read the manuscript and made helfpul comments, as did my researcher Katherine Rambo, and my great friend Dr. Art Ehlmann, Curator Emeritus of the Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Gallery in Fort Worth, Texas. So, I did call in some heavyweight intellects to assist, and Meteorite Hunting is the best we could make it.
The book features many never-before-seen photographs from the first and second seasons of Meteorite Men. For the past couple of years I've been putting aside some of the best location and expedition photos for use in the book. I wanted to save something special for the new work, instead of reprinting photos that viewers and enthusiasts had already seen in other publications.
From Chapter 14 Excavating Meteorites and Documenting Finds When Steve and I were north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden hunting the Muonionalusta strewnfield, we found a beautiful 30.4-kilogram (67-pound) iron at a depth of about 1 1/2 meters. The meteorite had been transported by a long-vanished glacier and had been deposited in the terminal moraine—unsorted debris dropped as an ice sheet melts and recedes. The iron was securely wedged under a boulder that had also been dropped by the glacier. This find proved that our pulse induction detector could, indeed, see right though large rocks. It also proved that sometimes there is no substitute for hard manual labor. Our permit to hunt at the site specified that we were not allowed to use mechanized vehicles in the forest, so we had to dig the iron by hand. The combined efforts of our four-person team were not sufficient to shift the boulder, which easily weighed several hundred pounds. Sometimes meteorite recovery is all about determination, and there was no way we were leaving that marvelous specimen in the ground. After several strategy discussions, and several hours of experimentation, we greatly expanded the size of hole, dug around the boulder, and under it, until we were able to dislodge the trapped meteorite by having our friend and colleague Carin Österburg jump up and down on it until it worked loose. Every expedition is different and every challenge requires a new solution. Persistence pays off and, once in a while, brute force wins out.
Meteorite Hunting is 100 pages with full color throughout. It features 100 exclusive photographs, illustrations and diagrams, and was published by Aerolite Meteorites LLC, in Tucson, Arizona. Copies can be ordered safely and easily, online at www.meteoritehunters.tvor by calling the Aerolite offices at 888 SKY ROXX or 520 742 3333. Watch the skies!
Photographs by Suzanne Morrison © Aerolite Meteorites LLC
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