UCLA Meteorite Gallery Poetry Contest
Celebrate National Poetry Day in space!
Location: Virtual Contest
In celebration of National Poetry month, we invite all enthusiasts to submit up to 3 poems about meteorites, asteroids, or impacts. We welcome all poetic forms such as haikus, sonnets, limericks, free verses, etc. After careful review of all submissions, we will publish the top 10 poems here on our website and the top 3 poems will be posted in the UCLA Meteorite Gallery. Please submit all poems to Juliet Hook at email@example.com by May 15th, 2021.
We kick off this contest with an introductory poem by our curator Dr. Alan Rubin.
Waltzing 253 MathildeDr. Alan Rubin
Crushed and cratered, shattered, pelted,
A Star in a StoneboatRobert Frost
Never tell me that not one star of all
Some laborer found one faded and stone-cold,
He noticed nothing in it to remark.
He did not recognize in that smooth coal
He did not see how like a flying thing
And a long Bird of Paradise's tail
Nor know that be might move it from the spot—
And burning to yield flowers instead of grain,
He moved it roughly with an iron bar,
Such as even poets would admit perforce
He dragged it through the plowed ground at a pace
It went for building stone, and I, as though
Yet ask where else it could have gone as well,
From following walls I never lift my eye,
Some may know what they seek in school and church,
Sure that though not a star of death and birth,
Though not, I say, a star of death and sin,
To chafe and shuffle in my calloused palm
Such as it is, it promises the prize
The MeteoriteClive Staples Lewis
Among the hills a meteorite
Thus easily can Earth digest
Nor is it strange these wanderers
All that is Earth has once been sky;
Hence, if belated drops yet fall
Dr. Guy Consolmagno, S.J.; Vatican Observatory
Vesta and the Chaotic Formation of Planets
The Dawn mission was sent to Vesta to inspect, close up, an intact protoplanet from the origin of the solar system. After all, its spectra matches that of basaltic meteorites, which must have come from an early, chemically evolved protoplanet. Except... Vesta's overall density is too low, and its core and crust too big, to fit anything like what we expect an intact protoplanet to look like. Was Vesta ripped apart and re-assembled? Is Vesta giving us new clues to planet formation and evolution in a violent early solar system?
Dr. Rhiannon Mayne; TCU
Charmed, I'm sure: Meteorites as Objects of Cultural Importance
Meteorites are objects usually prized primarily for their scientific value; for example, they help answer questions about the formation of our Solar System. However, there is also a long history of meteorites also being objects of significant cultural importance. Qarabawi’s Camel Charm is a sample acquired by the National Meteorite Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in 1974. The Charm consists of a flattened disk about 6.5 cm in diameter and four links, all of which are made from meteoritic material. In this presentation, I will discuss the combined scientific and ethnographic study of the Camel Charm, and the Wadi El Gamal meteorite from which it was made.
Dr. Tasha Dunn; Colby College
It's getting hot in here: Metamorphism of primitive solar system materials
Chondritic meteorites represent the most primitive material in the solar system. These chondrites originate from asteroids that did not reach temperatures high enough to melt. Although they escaped melting, some of these primitive asteroids reached temperatures high enough to induce metamorphism - recrystallization of a rock in a solid state. Unlike Earth, where metamorphism is accompanied by pressure and heat, metamorphism on asteroids is driven only by temperature. This metamorphism results in textural and geochemical changes that provide insight into the thermal and physical evolution of small bodies during the solar system's earliest formation.
Dr. Sara Russell; NHM London
Clocks in Rocks - How to date a solar system
Our solar system was born over four and a half billion years ago, from a cloud of dust and gas called the protoplanetary disk. Examples of the first solids to be formed - calcium-aluminium-rich inclusions (CAIs) and chondrules -have survived in some meteorite samples to learn about these ancient times. In particular, we can determine how old these components are using lead isotopes, which places constraints on the formation time of our Sun and planets. Finer details can be provided by the isotope 26Al, which is a natural clock because it is radioactive and its abundance declines by half every 3/4 of a million years. By looking at how much of this isotope was present in each object when it formed we can therefore tell how old it is. However, this chronometer depends on knowing how much 26Al originally existed in the disk and how it was distributed. If we can work these details out, then we can use these data to determine the length of time it took to make CAIs and chondrules, and from this we can work out how long the dusty disk took to start to form planets.