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Week 18


Special Topic: Meteorites

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APRIL 26, 1803: A collection of over 3000 meteorites falls and lands near the town of L’Aigle in Normandy, France. Up until then the existence of “stones falling from the sky” had been harshly debated, but the L’Aigle meteorite fall conclusively proved that such events happen, and in effect gave birth to the study of …

Perihelion: 2004 April 17.09, q= 0.168 AU  One of the most legendary comet discoverers of the 20th Century was the Australian amateur astronomer William Bradfield, who resided near Adelaide, South Australia. By trade a rocket propulsion engineer with the Australian government until his retirement in 1986, Bradfield began a systematic visual comet hunting effort at …

Interplanetary space in the vicinity of Earth’s orbit – and, presumably, elsewhere as well – is littered with debris. Dust ejected from comets, bits and pieces of asteroids, rocks from various bodies . . . Meanwhile, Earth during its annual orbits around the sun is constantly sweeping up this debris. From the standpoint of terminology, …