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Sacramento meteor hunter gets 2nd find in 6 months

12:25 PM, Nov 1, 2012   |    comments
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DAVIS, CA - A Sacramento meteor hunter has found his second ancient specimen in six months.

Brien Cook found a small meteorite on Oct. 22 beside a road in Novato; it was part of a car-sized meteor that broke apart  as it crashed through Earth's atmosphere above Marin County on Oct.17.

Cook found a part of another meteor that hit the Earth last spring near the community of Lotus.

"To have two meteorites fall in Northern California within six months itself is kind of extraordinary," Cook explained. "And then to be able to be fortunate enough to find one of each has been really a unique thing as well."

Cook's first find, the meteorite that streaked across the Sierra foothills last May, was analyzed by UC Davis geologist Qing-Zhu Yin.

Yin dated that meteor at roughly 4.7-billion years old and said it was composed of material from dead stars older than than Earth's Sun.

"It ejected out into our neighborhood and the molecular cloud and dust collected those materials and formed material like Sutter's Mill," said Yin, referring to the meteor that fell in the area around Lotus, just a mile from where gold was discovered in California in 1848.

Yin said meteorites can help scientists learn about the origins of the solar system.

He is just beginning to analyze Cook's second find, a chondrite meteor that is far more common that the earlier find.


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