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Interview to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Landing on the Moon

On July 20, 2019, our local ABC news station (KVUE) came by to interview me for the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. I really enjoyed discussing meteorites and sharing some of my collection with the audience. I thought Hank Cavagnaro did a great job of properly presenting meteorites for the audience.

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Meteor Showers: Yearly Schedule and Radiant

Meteor Shower NameStart and End Date
(Peaks Vary by Year)
Radiant ConstellationDescription
QuadrantidsJanuary 1 to 660Boötes, near the Big DipperBlue meteors with fine trains. Likely associated with
Comet C/1490 Y1.
LyridsApril 16 to 2510 -15LyraBright fast meteors, some with trains. Associated with
Comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher, the oldest recorded meteor
shower still visible today and first recorded in 687 BCE.
Eta AquariidsApr 24 to May 2035Aquarius near the star Eta AquariiLow in sky. Associated with Comet Halley.
Delta AquariidsJuly 12 to August 23 20Aquarius near the star Delta AquariiSteady stream of meteors over several days. Likely
associated with Comet 96P/Machholz.
Alpha Capricornids (no link)July 15 to August 255CapricornYellow slow fireballs. Associated with Comet 169P/NEAT.
PerseidsJuly 23 to August 2075PerseusMany bright fast meteors with trains. Associated with
Comet Swift-Tuttle (1737, 1862, 1992).
DraconidsOctober 2 to 1610DracoLess active meteor shower. Associated with
Comet 21/P Giacobini-Zimmer
OrionidsOctober 16 to 2725OrionFast with fine trains. Associated with Comet Halley
(Comet 1P/Halley).
TauridsSeptember 10 to December 1010TaurusVery slow meteors. Taurids are two separate showers
including a Southern and Northern component.
Associated with Comet 2P/Encke, a remnant of a larger
comet that disintegrated the last 20,000 to 30,000 years.
Note, some resources refer to the Northern Taurids as
being associated with the asteroid 2004 TG10, that also
shares the same parent body as Comet 2P/Encke. The
Beta Taurid meteor stream is the suspected source of the
massive and devastating June 1908 Tunguska airburst.
LeonidsNovember 15 to 2030-300LeoFast bright meteors with fine trains. Associated with
Comet Tempel-Tuttle. The 1833 storm was particularly
spectacular, with an estimated 100,000 meteors per hour.
GeminidsDecember 7 to1675Gemini, near the star CastorPlenty of bright meteors, few trains. Associated with
Asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Only major meteor shower not associated with a comet.
UrsidsDecember 7 to 255Ursa Minor, near the Beta Ursae Minoris (Kochab)Sparse shower. Associated with Comet 8P/Tuttle.

Much of the information listed above was gathered from the Royals Museum Greenwich website. To check on specific dates for peak observation times, please click the links above.

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Anthony Bourdain’s Meteorite Chef Knife Sells for $231,250

Anthony Bourdain’s Meteorite Chef Knife. Image Credit: iGavel Auctions

I remember hearing the sad news in June of 2018 that Anthony Bourdain, famous chef, book author, TV personality and overall down-to-earth super cool dude, had taken his own life. Crystal (my wife) and I happened to be in Colmar, France where he died shortly after the announcement as we were attending the Ensisheim Meteorite show and though we did not visit the site, we did feel a sense of loss at the passing of one of the few real people in reality TV. Like many fans, we really enjoyed watching Anthony’s adventures on TV and I remembered watching in fascination the show (see below) where certified blade-master, Bob Kramer, made Tony’s now famous meteorite chef knife. So, when I saw a press release in early October 2019 that this specific knife would go up for auction, I was really excited. iGavel Auctions had predicted it would sell for anywhere between $4,000 and $6,000, and I figured I had a chance. Once bidding opened, the price quickly rose to around $22,000, and my dreams fell equally fast. The bids stayed at that level for most of October, The bidding got stuck at around $22K and I guessed it might go up as high as $30,000.

Out of the more than 200 listings in the auction, Bourdain’s chef knife netted the highest bid of $185,000. After adding in the 25% buyer’s premium of $46,250, the total price came to a whopping $231,250!



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All Known Bodies in Our Solar System Larger than 322 km in Diameter

solar system
Image Credit: Alan Taylor, March 30, 2007

Click on the image and then use magnify. Then, by scrolling sideways the user gets an excellent perspective of the relative size of the 88 known objects (from 2007) in our solar system larger than 322 kn (200 miles) in diameter.

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Five (5) Moons of the Dwarf Planet Pluto

The 5 moons of the dwarf planet Pluto. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

Image shows a sliver of Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, and all four of Pluto’s small moons, as resolved by New Horizons spacecraft. Charon has a diameter of 751 miles (1,212 kilometers). Nix & Hydra have comparable sizes, approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) across in their longest dimension above. Kerberos and Styx are much smaller and have comparable sizes, roughly 6-7 miles (10-12 kilometers) across in their longest dimension. All four small moons have highly elongated shapes, a characteristic thought to be typical of small bodies in the Kuiper Belt.