It is necessary to distinguish meteors and meteorites. The meteor, also called the "falling star," is a solid that completely burns in the earth's atmosphere. In the sky we see the trace of his burning, and the meteor does not reach the surface of the planet. The meteorite does not just fly through the atmosphere, but also reaches the Earth. And the weight of the fallen body varies from tens of grams to tens of tons.
It is believed that the fall of the meteorite - a rare phenomenon. Scientists have established that in reality about 4 billion meteorites fall on the earth's surface every day. They elude our attention because of their small size. The situation with large meteorites is quite different. For all centuries of observing them, people have discovered only 24,000 such meteorites.
Analyzing interesting facts about meteorites, we must remember that the first metal used by people had meteorite origin. Ancient Mesopotamians, Egyptians and Greeks differently called this material, but held the same opinion on its origin. They did not doubt that it was the skies that gave them this amazing metal. Not always the gift of heaven was used for lofty purposes. There are cases of making anvils out of it, troughs for cattle or use for the foundation of a building.
The classification of meteorites is simple and understandable. They are divided into three classes: stone, iron and iron. This gives only a general idea of the contents of the heavenly guest. Many of them contain precious and semiprecious stones, rare metals, and even substances that do not exist on Earth. Naturally, the most valuable researchers and collectors consider meteorites, unique in their composition.
The price of a meteorite is formed by many factors, so the exact cost of the find can be called only by an experienced collector. The most significant parameters for evaluation are age, composition, size, meteorite history and its aesthetic characteristics. The usual range of prices for a stone meteorite is 0.5-1.5 dollars per gram of its weight. Prices for iron meteorites are higher and vary by 2-3 dollars per gram. Iron-stone pallasites, containing semiprecious stones, cost 20-50 dollars / gram. Above all other rare rare lunar and Martian meteorites - their price can exceed $ 1000 / gram. A beginner collector must remember that meteorites have a high density, so a small fragment can devastate his wallet.
Collections of meteorites are collected by individuals and museums of different countries. The leader among the museums collecting meteorites is today the Mountain Museum of St. Petersburg. In its halls there are over 300 exhibits of various sizes - from inconspicuous and tiny meteorites to the most unique and large. It is here that the giant fragment of the famous Sikhote-Alin meteorite weighing 450 kilograms is exhibited. The meteorite itself shattered into fragments in the sky above the Ussuri taiga in the last century.
In the history of meteorite hunters, there were striking cases of luck. An amateur astronomer Gavtorn, who lived in America in the middle of the last century, was so fond of observing heavenly bodies that he built a private observatory near his house. Once during a meal he heard an explosion in his "space center". Having run into the observatory, the astronomer found two heavy smoldering fragments right in his armchair. These were iron meteorites, each weighing more than one kilogram.
Even hundreds of years ago, our ancestors knew the custom of making a wish at the sight of a falling star. Some of their wishes came true. It is known that on the eve of the battle of Borodino, right in the middle of the guns of the Russian battery, a meteorite fell. This phenomenon was considered a harbinger of victory. The meteorite was stored all life in the family of the unit commander, to which the battery was subordinated. And only in 1892 it was transferred to scientists.
Enterprising insurance agents, frightening the inhabitants of the dangers of falling meteorites, lead potential customers into confusion. For all the centuries of observation, the only fact of the meteorite's fall on man is fixed. In addition, everything was bruised. Stone weighing about three kilograms in 1954 fell on a house in Australia, then breaking through the roof, damaged the owner's shoulder. Since the speed of the meteorite was already low, the woman did not even get a fracture.
The recent fall of the meteorite, which occurred in Chelyabinsk (Russian Federation), gave rise to many speculations, rumors and theories. Entered into the atmosphere above the city body weighed about 10 thousand tons and had a huge speed. Fortunately, it exploded at an altitude of 20 kilometers. The situation is unique due to the fact that dozens of local residents filmed the meteorite. In some frames, it can be seen that the meteorite explodes as a result of the action of an object similar to a rocket. This gave rise to a lot of assumptions about extraterrestrial interference.