The Stuff of Meteorites

It has been postulated that much of the iridium in the earth's crust has arrived from outer space via meteors and asteroids, which are called meteorites if they hit the ground (i.e. they don't entirely incinerate in our atmosphere as most do). According to the Alvarez hypothesis a large asteroid caused a global extinction event (killing many forms of life including the dinosaurs) 65 million years ago with the resulting impact releasing over one billion times the energy of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan to end World War II.  The fallout would have covered the earth.  Sedimentary layers in the earth's crust throughout the world from that time period (called the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary) contain iridium concentrations that are several hundred times what is normally found in the earth's crust. Because iridium is so dense, most of it sank to the earth's core when our planet was still molten.  It is well known that meteorites contain much higher concentrations of iridium than the Earth's crust and that the isotopic ratios of iridium found in asteroids is similar to the ratio found in the K-T boundary sediments but is much different from that found elsewhere in the Earth's crust.  While we did not perform isotope quantification to be sure, there is a good chance at least some of our iridium came from another place in our solar system or beyond and may have been in that fateful asteroid 65 million years ago that gave us mammals a chance to rule the world.

We are proud to announce that a very limited quantity of iridium is now available, for the first time we know of in this form.  Own a very unique piece of the cosmos - own what's rare!   In the meantime we'll be looking for more, chasing falling stars and trying to figure out how to mine the center of the earth.  Wish us luck.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published