Meteorite Men

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Meteorite Men
Meteorite Men title screen.jpg
Meteorite hunters Steve Arnold and Geoff Notkin.
GenreDocumentary / Reality
Presented bySteve Arnold, Geoffrey Notkin
StarringSteve Arnold, Geoffrey Notkin
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes23 (including pilot)
Production
Executive producer(s)Eric Schotz
Producer(s)Sonya Gay Bourn, Ruth Rivin, Kathy Williamson, Bob Melisso, James Rowley
Production location(s)American Southwest, American Midwest, Texas, Canada, Chile, Sweden, Australia
Camera setupRandall Love, German Abarca, Tim Murphy, Dave Marlin
Running time45-48 minutes
Release
Original networkScience Channel
Original releaseMay 10, 2009 (2009-05-10) – January 23, 2012
External links
Website

Meteorite Men is a documentary reality television series featuring meteorite hunters Geoff Notkin and Steve Arnold. The pilot episode premiered on May 10, 2009. The full first season began on January 20, 2010 on the Science Channel. The second season premiered November 2, 2010 and season three began November 28, 2011. Professors and scientists at prominent universities including UCLA, ASU, UA, Edmonton, and other institutions, including NASA's Johnson Space Center, are featured.

Summary[edit]

The show follows two meteorite hunters, Steve Arnold and Geoffrey Notkin, as they travel around the world scouring the Earth's surface for meteorites.

Arnold's background lies primarily in business,[1] while Notkin is a passionate collector and science writer.[2] In the pilot episode of Meteorite Men, Notkin and Arnold travel to the farmlands of Brenham, Kansas, where Arnold located and recovered the largest oriented pallasite ever found.[3]

Meteorite Men has won two bronze Telly Awards. The show has also spawned a modern-day "gold rush" as thousands of amateur meteorite hunters now scour the globe each year in search of meteorites.[4]

Notable finds[edit]

The World's Largest Oriented Pallasite[edit]

Some of the specimens found on the show were sold to collectors, while others were donated to university collections.

In October 2009, Arnold and geologist Philip Mani located and recovered the largest oriented pallasite ever found, in Brenham, Kansas, using a metal detector he created himself and a unique mapping technique.[5] This is the location where the Meteorite Men pilot was filmed.[6] The pallasite was on display at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show in 2006.[7] The pallasite has been exhibited at:[8]

  • The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (2006)
  • The Exploration Place in Wichita, Kansas (2006 & 2007)
  • Kansas City Union Station (2007)
  • Center for Earth & Space Science Center in Tyler, Texas (2011)
  • U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Space Mania, Tel Aviv, Israel (2013)
  • Space Center Houston (NASA) (2015)

Morasko, Poland[edit]

In 2011, Arnold and Notkin found two irons, weighing approximately 544 grams (0.544 kg) and 34 kilograms (34,000 g), at 30 centimetres (0.98 ft) and 156 centimetres (5.12 ft) deep, respectively, while filming Episode 1 of Season 3 of Meteorite Men in the Morasko Meteorite Nature Reserve in Poland.[9] The discovery of these specimens below the depth of previously recorded finds suggested that further, more detailed surveys should be conducted with improved metal detecting equipment. Furthermore, the larger specimen was found embedded in a Miocene clay, which proves that it fell at that exact spot and was not transported by glaciers, disproving an earlier theory.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1[edit]

# Title Original air date
1"The Buzzard Coulee Fireball and Whitecourt Crater, Canada"January 20, 2010 (2010-01-20)
The Meteorite Men visit Alberta, Canada in search of meteorites around Whitecourt Crater after the Buzzard Coulee Fireball.
2"Odessa Meteorite Crater, Texas"January 27, 2010 (2010-01-27)
The Meteorite Men search for pieces of a 63,000-year-old impact near Odessa, Texas with new detectors.
3"Tucson Ring Mystery, Southern Arizona"February 3, 2010 (2010-02-03)
The Meteorite Men hunt for pieces of the elusive Tucson Ring in Southern Arizona.
4"The Gold Basin, Arizona"February 10, 2010 (2010-02-10)
The Meteorite Men follow the work of Professor Jim Kriegh into a strewn field in Arizona inside National Park boundaries. After the hunt, Geoff and Steve take their samples Dr. Laurence Garvie at Arizona State University for further study.
5"The Dry Lake Bed, Nevada"February 17, 2010 (2010-02-17)
The Meteorite Men hunt around dry lake beds in the Great Basin of Nevada.
6"Ash Creek Fall, Texas"February 14, 2010 (2010-02-14)
The Meteorite Men explore Homestead, Iowa, where numerous large meteorites fell in 1875.

Season 2[edit]

# Title Original air date
1"Alpha Site, Kansas"November 2, 2010 (2010-11-02)
The Meteorite Men return to their top-secret location in eastern Kansas where a rare pallasite meteorite contains extraordinary gem-quality olivine crystals.
2"Imilac, Chile"November 9, 2010 (2010-11-09)
The Meteorite Men return to the Imilac strewn field in Chile's Atacama Desert, where they first hunted together some 13 years ago, and the Vaca Muerta ("dead cow") strewn field near the small town of Taltal where the rarest of meteorites, the mesosiderite, can be found.
3"Monturaqui, Chile"November 16, 2010 (2010-11-16)
This 1,509-foot-diameter (460-meter-diameter) crater is one of the best-preserved meteorite craters on the planet. Measuring 34 meters (112 feet) deep, the Monturaqui crater is often compared with the Bonneville crater on Mars. In the vast and arid Atacama Desert, San Juan is a newly discovered meteorite gold mine, where numerous different meteorites have been recovered, including the coveted carbonaceous chondrite.
4"Dugway , Utah"November 23, 2010 (2010-11-23)
On Nov 18, 2009, a fireball streaked across the midnight sky over western Utah. Using NEXRAD Doppler weather radar images and eyewitness testimony, the Meteorite Men track the strewn field down to Dugway Military Base. Military officials grant Geoff and Steve exclusive access to the base's dangerous ammunitions-testing grounds to search for remnants of the majestic fireball.
5"Mifflin, Wisconsin"November 30, 2010 (2010-11-30)
On April 14, 2010, a fireball lit up the night sky. The sonic boom was heard for miles. As it was perhaps the most publicized meteorite fall in history, swarms of meteorite hunters flooded the scene in hopes of securing a piece of this famed fireball.
6"Muonionalusta, Sweden"December 7, 2010 (2010-12-07)
With a terrestrial age estimated at more than 800,000 years old, the Muonionalusta meteorites have endured thousands of years' worth of glaciations and melting periods. As a result, thawing ice sheets have migrated the meteorites miles from their original impact site, making Muonionalusta among the largest and most challenging strewn fields on the planet.
7"Henbury, Australia"December 14, 2010 (2010-12-14)
The Henbury meteorite strewn field consists of 12 craters that stretch across central Australia's outback. This engraved record of an ancient meteorite shower 4,700 years ago served as the inspiration for Aboriginal folklore and a shadow of dark superstition.
8"Mundrabilla, Australia"December 21, 2010 (2010-12-21)
Located in the desolate and dangerous Nullarbor Plains, the Mundrabilla iron meteorites are known for their zoomorphic shapes. Roughly 700,000 years ago, the massive meteoroid showered along a strewn field more than 80 kilometers (50 mi) long. The largest masses, which tipped the scales at 16 tons and 6 tons, were recovered in 1966.

Season 3[edit]

# Title Original air date
1"Morasko, Poland"November 28, 2011 (2011-11-28)
Poland was hit with a meteorite 5,000 years ago which resulted in a scarred landscape and seven craters. Geoff and Steve receive exclusive access to investigate the Morasko crater field for the first time.
2"Return to Sweden"December 5, 2011 (2011-12-05)
Geoff and Steve venture north of the Arctic Circle on a quest for ancient buried space rocks near the site of the Muonionalusta site they visited in 2010.
3"Return to Whitecourt"December 12, 2011 (2011-12-12)
The hosts return to Canada to retrieve materials from the Whitecourt crater before poachers can compromise the site.
4"Dronino"December 19, 2011 (2011-12-19)
Geoff and Steve make the journey to Russia in search of one of the most rare and valuable meteorites on the planet-the Dronino ataxite.
5"Mojave"December 26, 2011 (2011-12-26)
Geoff and Steve for meteorites at two locations in the Mojave Desert.
6"Sahuarita"January 9, 2012 (2012-01-09)
The guys go to Arizona in search of an unclassified meteorite.
7"Homestead"January 16, 2012 (2012-01-16)
Steve and Geoff explore the strewnfield in Homestead, Iowa, where numerous large meteorites fell in 1875.
8"Pultusk"January 23, 2012 (2012-01-23)
In the season finale Geoff and Steve return to Poland where, along with their friend Marcin, they investigate the Pultusk meteorite fall from 1868.

Cultural Impact[edit]

Meteorite Men has been cited as a possible reason behind the spike in interest regarding meteorites and meteorite hunting in the early 2010s. Dr. Laurence Garvie of the Center for Meteorite Studies at Arizona State University has stated that after his appearance on the show, he and his colleagues received about a half-dozen boxes of rocks each week from viewers who believed they had found a meteorite.[10]

The Sterley pallasite[edit]

In approximately 1950, a farmer came across a 1,724.8 gram mass while plowing a field. The specimen, which displayed regmaglypts and fusion crust, was not fully classified until 2012, when the son of the finder, after watching Meteorite Men, took the specimen to Dr. Laurence Garvie at the Center for Meteorite Studies, ASU, for further analysis. [11] The entire mass was then acquired by Ruben Garcia of Mr. Meteorite and Geoffrey Notkin of Aerolite Meteorites and Meteorite Men.[12]

Steve Curry Incident[edit]

In 2012, Officer Ryan Piotrowski of the Grand Junction Police Department charged Steve Curry with misdemeanor theft and fraud for selling false meteorites. Piotrowski had seen Meteorite Men and became intrigued by the case when it landed on his sergeant's desk.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Riccardi, Nicholas (27 October 2007). "Chicken Little was right". L.A. Times. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  2. ^ Vastag, Brian (19 December 2011). "One of TV's Meteorite Men describes team's hunt for treasure from outer space". Washington Post. Retrieved 17 November 2016.
  3. ^ Shepard, Michael (2016). Asterpods. Cambridge University Press. p. 96. ISBN 9781107061446.
  4. ^ "How to Become a Meteorite Hunter & Make $5,000- $20,000 Per Rock". The Penny Hoarder. Retrieved May 23, 2012.
  5. ^ Paynter, Ben. "The Meteor Farmer". Wired. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Meteorite Men Pilot". Meteorite Men Official Website. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Meteorite People". Meteorite Times Magazine. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  8. ^ Meteorites (PDF). Christie's. 20 April 2016. p. 58. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  9. ^ Karwowski, Lukasz; Pilski, Andrzej S.; Muszynkski, Andrzrej; Arnold, Steve; Notkin, Geoffrey; Gurdziel, Agnieszka (2011). "New Finds in the Morasko Meteorite Preserve, Poland". Meteorites. 1 (1): 21-28. doi:10.5277/met110103.
  10. ^ Heide, Dana (15 September 2016). "Scientists: No, the Rock You Found Is Not A Meteorite". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 8 August 2018.
  11. ^ "Sterley". The Meteoritical Bulletin. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  12. ^ Notkin, Geoffrey; Garvie, Laurence; Wasson, John; Grossman, Jeff; Garcia, Ruben (2013). The Sterley Pallasite (First ed.). Stanegate Press. p. 4. ISBN 978-0-9847548-5-4.
  13. ^ Borrell, Brendan. "The Rock That Fell to Earth". The Verge. Retrieved 8 August 2018.

External links[edit]