Instructables
Picture of Give your loved one a real
Several times every year, the sky falls in.

Well, bits of it do - regular and predictable meteor showers happen all round the world, leaving burning trails across the sky as friction burns them away to nothing.

Or does it?

It may be romantic to name an anonymous dot in the sky after your loved one, but how about catching a real "fallen star" for them?
 
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Step 1: What you need:

I'm sure you've realised that, when I say "fallen star", I really mean "meteorite". You hadn't? Well, you do now.

To catch the meteorites, you will need:

  • Magnets in a plastic bag
  • String

To view the meteorites, you will need:

  • A pair of non-magnetic forceps or tweezers - it is possible to manage with nimble fingers, but you are more likely to lose any interesting samples.
  • A microscope slide, preferably with a concave depression to stop things rolling away.
  • Clear nail varnish or "super" glue (CA glue, crazy glue)
  • A narrow-nibbed permanent marker.
  • A microscope.
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Xerxes092 years ago
This is AWESOME! Thanks KiteMan for adding this
Kiteman (author)  Xerxes092 years ago
Thank *you* for the kind comment!
stormy03142 years ago
I haven't read all of the replies, so disregard if someone posted this earlier. I read an article that said get a large pasteboard/cardboard box, cover the bottom with white paper or cardboard and put it in an open space, not covered, but protected, and leave it there for a while. The best time is during a meteor shower, about every two months, in the even months. The little black spots recovered are probably meteorites. Remember that tons of space particles hit the earth daily.
I am going to run this all winter, setting up a meteorite trap in a secluded space, then see what shows up in the spring.
Kiteman (author)  iminthebathroom3 years ago
Excellent!
arpruss3 years ago
I wish I knew how to verify with greater reliability whether they are micrometeorites. Anyway, here are some I found. The first one was a nice spherical one I lost. The third one is pretty but I am dubious if it's extraterrestrial. The second and third photos are at much higher magnification. In reality, they're as big as or smaller than the ball in the first photo. That's my excuse for even poorer focus. The photos were taken with point and shoot cameras hand-held to microscope eyepieces, with some loose-fitting adapters to make it easier. The first photo was with a Sony P100 through the 10X Huygens eyepiece that the microscope came with. The second and third photos were with a Canon G7 through a Rini 30mm telescope eyepiece, using my home-made telescope-to-microscope eyepiece adapter.
DSC06779.JPG20100827-125114.JPG20100827-125217.JPG
Kiteman (author)  arpruss3 years ago
The second image definitely looks meteoric to me - melted and then cooled in free-fall.
arpruss Kiteman3 years ago
The last one has a bit of a melted look, but it didn't come through on the photo. The ball in the first one may be too uniform.
Kiteman (author)  arpruss3 years ago
Yes, the first one may be molten iron from an earthly source, left in the ground for years before you fished it out with a magnet.
arpruss3 years ago
Today I tried using superglue to preserve a micrometeorite, but it crystallized in that nasty white way. I cleaned it off with acetone, and then just preserved them by putting them on a slide under a cover slip and taping the slip on.

Actually, I think it would look better on some white plastic rather than on glass--they looked better under the microscope when I put white cardboard under the slide. I was using a flashlight (and later reflected sunlight) to illuminate the slide.

I also found a nice trick for picking them up. You wet a toothpick with acetone. (Rubbing alcohol might work, too.) They stick for transit while the toothpick is wet, and come off easily because the acetone dries quickly.
Kiteman (author)  arpruss3 years ago
Cool, thanks for that.
Alex Dee4 years ago
is that acually a meteorite Kiteman
Kiteman (author)  Alex Dee4 years ago
Yup.

I'll have to do this again - I have some stronger magnets now.

how is it posible though it looks really hard to do because i would like to do it but i dont have a pond
Kiteman (author)  Alex Dee4 years ago
Hey, boy at the back!

Have you actually *read* the instructions? Like, the bit in step two that mentions puddles?

Now i have thankyou
knex_mepalm4 years ago
Daddy, it went in my eye.
Goodhart5 years ago

You then need rain.

I would suppose that "snow" would do just as well
 
Kiteman (author)  Goodhart5 years ago
I'm not sure - the idea is that the rain washes the meteorites into a convenient place to catch them.

Maybe you can check the melt-water from a roof or a drainage ditch?


Sure,  even a rain barrel, catching melted snow might work (using the whole roof as a gathering area, but adding its own "particles" to the mix at the same time. )
 
Kiteman (author)  Goodhart5 years ago
True.

In fact, if you already have a rainbarrel, it may have been collecting them for several years, and already have a small collection in its depths!
And,  I am thinking that, at this time of year, if it would snow during or shortly after one, I may be able to just gather some snow off the ground.  Since it appears it is going to be too cloudy to see it again this year.
 
I'd have thought that micrometeorites would make a good nucleation centre for ice - so surely there'd be more in snow?
I suppose for the smaller ones......
 
(removed by author or community request)
Thank you.
I wonder why he deleted his comment or why it was deleted? 
 
Kiteman (author)  Goodhart5 years ago
I have no idea - I presume it was a complementary comment, but he wasn't called "DELETED_DELETED_HIVLTGE" back then...
Ok, well then, consider this a complimentary bump  ;-) 
 
Braeburn5 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
fodo Braeburn5 years ago
that's a metamorphic rock
It looks like a Iron Meteorite or a Chondrite. But a meteorite of that size would have made a big crater. Etleast 40ft across and 20ft deep.
Kiteman (author)  Braeburn5 years ago
How did you make that?
i found it
it is also really heavy for it's size
Kiteman (author)  Braeburn5 years ago
It doesn't look like a meteorite - it doesn't look melted. Is it magnetic?
a little bit, and from a real life perspective it does look melted, I have a bad camera...
. Most meteorites of that size that I've seen (admittedly not many) have been pocked/pitted. That looks like a piece of igneous (or maybe metamorphic) rock to me.
looks like a piece of jasper or obsidian.
iPodGuy5 years ago
Whoa. Fav'd.
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