Talk:Willamette Meteorite

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From Canada?[edit]

"No impact crater has been found— it is probably in Canada." This does beg the question: How did it get to Oregon from Canada, and where in Canada did it come from? Was it transported from Canada by some unknown person, or did it get there over a long period of time through geological processes? --Craig (t|c) 21:58, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Ah, good question. I'm sure it's because of glaciation, but of course that needs to be explained in the article. Katr67 22:40, 26 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I would imagine so too, considering it apparently took 90 days to move it a mere 1200 metres. But besides a lack of information about its origins, there's the facts that Canada is no small plot of land (where in Canada?), and also didn't exist when the meteorite fell, both of which make the statement a little bizarre, out of place and probably unnecessary. I think that since nobody knows where the impact crater is (Canada, Washington State, or Australia for that matter) the statement should just be removed. There's probably a Wikipedia policy on speculation, but I'm too lazy to go looking for it. So I'll remove it when I'm next passing through if there are no objections before then. --Craig (t|c) 10:43, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Works for me, but I bet there is more info in one of the external links. Perhaps we can add a section on "Origin" and cite some sources. The statement should definitely be taken out of the intro though. Katr67 15:06, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, one of the earliest versions of the article explains the bit about glaciers. Katr67 15:10, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, I finally updated it and removed the verification tag. Still seems a little out of place, and is still in the introduction (lacking enough information for the new section), but I think it's a little less emphatic now. Thanks! --Craig (t|c) 23:46, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I don't have sources, but the reasons for it having arrived within a few thousand years by glacial movement are numerous. It was found on the surface, so it either wasn't buried by the most recent glacier's deposits or was unearthed recently by erosion. It should have arrived with one of the glaciations during the last few million years, and all those are considered recent glaciations. The northern part of the continent has had a shape and orientation similar to the current one during those glaciations, so the object did not recently land on another continent and move here. The description of the chemical erosion to the surface also implies that the object wouldn't have lasted for hundreds of millions of years on the surface of Oregon. So it was in a different environment and was moved recently to Oregon. No identificable crater also indicates it didn't land in Oregon. Something that large should have left a mark, which implies erosion and glaciation destroyed the crater or something more peculiar (I don't know the effects of impact on a glacier). We don't have answers to the oddities, but many of them imply the object did not land in Oregon and arrived on Oregon's surface recently. (SEWilco 02:15, 18 September 2007 (UTC))

Mainstream news on the Clackamas claim[edit]

Even bleeding heart NPR's coverage of the claim of insensitivity by the Clackamas seemed dismissive. Like the CNN article they asked the white people what they thought of the claim and they didn't know what to say, but it seems nobody has actually talked to a member of the tribe. It would be good to find some other sources about what the Clackamas have to say. Katr67 23:23, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


  • OREGON'S CELESTIAL VISITOR TAKES FURTHER JOURNEYS, The Oregonian, May 30, 1999, Author: JOHN TERRY Aboutmovies (talk) 22:52, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

I'd like to see the exact naming convention being cited for the move of "Willamette Meteorite" to Willamette meteorite". Yes it says "Convention: Do not capitalize second and subsequent words unless the title is almost always capitalized in English (for example, proper names)." I believe this can be considered a proper name: "Proper nouns (also called proper names) are nouns representing unique entities." The title of this object is "Willamette Metorite". It is not a Willamette metorite, it is the Willamette Meteorite and a unique entity. If it is determined that the article title should indeed be lowercase, then the user who moved the page would be most kind if s/he cleaned up the capitalization in the rest of the article. Note that the Oregonian and the New York Times capitalize it. Katr67 (talk) 19:57, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for poining out this issue. Well, as you can see on the Meteoritical Bulletin Database, the official name for this meteorite is Willamette and not Willamette Meteorite. The name of meteorites are assigned by the Committee for Meteorite Nomenclature following precise rules. For this reason, in my humble opinion, there is no doubt the best name for this article is Willamette meteorite. I will clean the article too. Basilicofresco (talk) 14:26, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I can buy that. Though I think having it capitalized is the common usage, which is how we title things on Wikipedia. Thanks in advance for cleaning up after yourself. Maybe you could add a sentence about its official name to the article too. :) Katr67 (talk) 15:40, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure the common usage (universal, I believe, in what I've read in the media) dictates the name should be capitalized. It's good to know that there's a discrepancy between the official name and the common name -- maybe something that should be noted in the article? -- but I think Wikipedia guidelines are pretty explicit that the common name should determine the article name. (Can't find the exact guideline to reference, though -- the principle is alluded to in WP:MOS#Identity, but I'm pretty sure it's spelled out more specifically elsewhere.) -Pete (talk) 18:31, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I checked on Google and you right, unlike other meteorites (eg. Hoba, Cape York, Gibeon, etc) it is often referred also as the Willamette Meteorite. Even on the label of the American Museum of Natural History it is called The Willamette Meteorite. Neverless the official name is simply Willamette (Meteorite Bullettin Database, NHM). In fact it is called Willamette meteorite on several high-reputee websites (Macovich Collection, NASA). Even on different languages of wikipedia it is called in this fashion: nn ru. In order to account this discrepancy I rewrote the first sentence. In my opinion this is a better solution, however it is a very special case and if you think this particular meteorite is better represented by Willamette Meteorite, you can move the page. Basilicofresco (talk) 16:19, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
Looks good to me -- thanks for your research! -Pete (talk)

I note the page still needs cleaning up, and what I mean by that is that every place in the article where it says "Willamette Meteorite" needs to be changed to "Willamette meteorite", unless there is an objection to the original page move and it should be moved back. Katr67 (talk) 23:28, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Never mind, I went ahead an moved the page back since Basilicofresco changed the capitalization on the Willamette dab page... Katr67 (talk) 23:31, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
If the official name is plain ol' Willamette, shouldn't it be Willamette (meteorite)? --Esprqii (talk) 23:53, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I think not. Common usage is clearly Willamette Meteorite—or should it be Willamette Meteor? Willamette by itself is specific to the meteor/ite community. —EncMstr (talk) 01:03, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Well, Willamette Meteorite in this case is probably acceptable due the "common name" rule (definitely not Willamette Meteor, because is not common and most of all it is _NOT_ a meteor). Anyway, this is an exception. Generally speaking, as noted Esprqii, the correct name for a meteorite on Wikipedia should be Meteoritename or Meteoritename (meteorite) unless there is a VERY STRONG reason for naming it differently. On the italian wiki for example we opened a discussion about this problem and now we are going to name every meteorite in this way:

  • Officialmeteoritename
  • Officialmeteoritename (meteorite) if Officialmeteoritename is already occupied by something else
  • Official abbreviate name + redirect from Officialmeteoritename if the (official) abbreviated version is much more common (eg. ALH 84001)

I suggest to follow the same rule even on the english wiki for every meteorite without a different common name (I mean SO common that even the museum that holds the main sample call it in this way). Basilicofresco (talk) 10:03, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for providing all that context, Basilico -- very helpful. -Pete (talk)


"32,000 pounds or 15.5 tons"??? Which is it? 32k pounds is 16 tons exactly... and shouldn't there be a parenthetical listing what it is in teh metric system, but with the maths done right? Huw Powell (talk) 01:26, 22 June 2008 (UTC)

I did a reserch on google books and I discovered that different sources report different weights:

  • Meteoritical Bulletin Database[1] reports "15.5 MT" (15500 kg)
  • Catalogue of Meteorites[2] reports "approx. 15 tonnes" (about 15000 kg)
  • The Nature and Origin of Meteorites[3] reports "13500 kg"
  • Meteorites and Their Parent Planets[4] reports "12700 kg"
  • American Museum of Natural History[5] in 1906 reported a weight of "at least 31200 pounds, or about 15.6 tons" --> means 14150 kg
  • American Museum of Natural History website reports both:
    • a weight of "14 tons"[6][7] probably metric tons (14000 kg)
    • "weighing over 15.5 tons"[8] --> probably short tons (14060 kg)
  1. ^ Meteoritical Bulletin Database: Willamette
  2. ^ Robert Hutchison, Monica M. Grady, A. L. Graham. Catalogue of meteorites, Cambridge University Press, 1999. [1]
  3. ^ D. W. Sears. The Nature and Origin of Meteorites. Oxford University Press, 1978. [2]
  4. ^ Harry Y. McSween. Meteorites and Their Parent Planets. Cambridge University Press, 1999. [3]
  5. ^ The American Museum Journal, American Museum of Natural History, 1906.
  6. ^ American Museum of Natural History Official Website,
  7. ^ American Museum of Natural History Official Website,
  8. ^ American Museum of Natural History Official Website,

15500 kg seems to be 15.5 short tons converted as metric tons, 12700 seems to be 14 metric tons converted as short tons and 13500 kg are simply 15 short tons.
Looking at these numbers my best guess is about 14150 kg = 15.6 short tons = 14.15 MT. I will soon update the article. - Basilicofresco (talk) 21:58, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I propose that the article state that various sources give various weights, and list them and their numbers. State that confusion over metric tonnes, US tons, etc. may be part of the reason for the spread. Stay away from speculation about the exact error trace. For one thing, it's really difficult to comprehend let alone explain. Wikipedia has such clout now that the museum might just go weigh the thing. In this time of intensifying interest in asteroid strikes, mass calculations are becoming of prime importance, so somebody really DOES need to weigh it, rather than making scientists guess at it via incompetent reports.
As to the mass/weight question (qv. below), it should be mass not weight. So any use of pounds should be pounds-mass. On earth the object weighs X. In space it weighed near zero. During atmospheric entry it weighed 2 or 3 times X. Weight depends on the gravitational environment. Mass is an intrinsic property of an object. Of course, the various conflicting reports were from people who didn't think of that either. Friendly Person (talk) 04:05, 10 December 2014 (UTC)


Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

The revised location of the meteorite doesn't jive with two facts: the marker in West Linn (at 45°20′37″N 122°39′24″W / 45.343596°N 122.656746°W / 45.343596; -122.656746 (West Linn plaque location stating it fell "2 miles NW")) says it was found about 2 miles NW of this place (see photo in article). I calculated this to be 45°22′N 122°41′W / 45.367°N 122.683°W / 45.367; -122.683 (Willamette Meteorite per plaque in West Linn) which jives well with my memory of a grade school field trip to the site. The location 45°22′N 122°35′W / 45.367°N 122.583°W / 45.367; -122.583 (Willamette Meteorite per is given by the new cite, but that disagrees with both my memory and the plaque. Personally I think the plaque is correct and has some systematic error somehow. Click on the "Map all coordinates" at right to see these three points. Given that the wrong point is on the east side of the Willamette River, I really think some mistake has been propagated over time. —EncMstr (talk) 17:45, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Canadian origin[edit]

I see that the claim of a Canadian origin is sourced. But I have serious doubts about the W.M. coming from Canada due to the small problem that Oregon did not see continental ice sheets from Canada in the ice age. The Corilleran lobe only reached just south of Olympia and all glaciation in Oregon was from alpine glaciation coming west from the Cascades. Are there any references to Canada besides the NY times article?--Kevmin (talk) 11:47, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

I did some digging and have expanded on the Canada claim using the abstract of the original talk where the idea was proposed. The key was that the W.M. "may" have been ice rafted to the Willamette Valley during the Missoula Floods.--Kevmin (talk) 20:13, 13 March 2010 (UTC)

Mass, not weight[edit]

The section about weight should be titled "mass". Kg and tons are units of mass, not weight. Units for weight are units of force which Kg and tons are not. GS3 (talk) 18:42, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

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This 1st paragraph in the Modern history section is contradictory: "Although already known and sacred to Native Americans, its "discovery" was made by settler Ellis Hughes in 1902." Instead of using the vague word discovery in quotes, i would specify what specifically did that person add to the knowledge of the meteorite, or remove the second part of the sentence altogether. Gaianauta (talk) 14:24, 4 October 2016 (UTC)

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