Science Interviews

Interview

Thu, 11th Aug 2016

Connie won a meteorite!

Connie Orbach, Naked Scientists

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Naked Scientist Connie Orbach won a meteorite and so Graihagh Jackson made it herConnie's meteorite mission to find out as much as possible about it. But first, how did Connie get it in the first place?

Connie - Iím not going to lie, Iíve never wanted a meteorite before, but now I have one Iím incredibly happy.

Graihagh - And itís come on quite a journey to get here because we have been waiting in the office for weeks in anticipation of this meteorite.

Connie - I think Iíd say over two months - itís been a long time! A long time coming, yeah. So I won it; it was an incentive to fill in a feedback form. I never win anything and then I got an email eight months later, I think probably (Iíd forgotten about it completely) saying Iíd won the meteorite. Amazing!

And so they said it would take a while because they said ďwe have to order itĒ. And I said ďwhere from, do you order it from space?Ē How do you order a meteorite in this day and age? But no, I think they just ordered it from the meteorite store which, apparently, exists somewhere.

Then it arrived but I wasnít here.

Graihagh - Oh yes, thatís it - Iíd forgotten! It arrived in a box and me and Georgia were like Ďthe meteorites here!' We sent you a message didnít we? An instant message pretending to open the package.

Connie - Yeah, you sent me lots of like pictures. One was actually of just a big stone youíd found saying weíd got your meteorite.  Itís just a meteorite but I was actually but when I thought that you potentially opened it without me I was really angry. But I got back and you hadnít so we opened it and itís not very big. Iím holding it now and itísÖ

Graihagh - About an inch long, isn't it?

Connie - Yeah, yeah, about an inch long, half an inch wide and kind of bumpy. Itís black but with a silver kind of tinge to it when you look at it in the light. And the thing that really strikes you when ou get this it itís really, really heavy.

Graihagh - Yes, I'm still shocked. I mean, even though we were pretending to open it Iím still shocked. I thought it was packaging that made it how heavy that is. I think thatís maybe a kilo, maybe?

Connie - You think? Itís definitely at least a bag of sugar so thatís how Iíd do my measurements, so itís at least half a kilo. And it feels like a visual illusion every time youíre holding it, I think, because it just doesnít match up but my brain thinks something is wrong!

And the other thing it came with is a lovely little sign telling me this about it.

Graihagh - Dare you pronounce what it says?

Connie - So obviously, Iím fluent in Spanish - Campo del Cielo.

Graihagh - Very good.

Connie - From Gran Chaco - oh this is tricky - Gran Chaco Gualamba, Argentina. Found - and so this is how I know they didnít order it from space - found in 1576. Itís really old! I mean itís space rock so itís really old, but itís really old to this world too which I thought was quite amazing. And then itís kind of got what itís made of and the main thing is iron and thatís why itís so heavy. And probably, I should have filled this in by now but thereís an empty box where someone didnít know what do. Itís says specimen weight but it doesnít say the answer so we canít tell you, we just have to guess by bags of sugar!

Graihagh - Do you know anything more about it? I mean Iím thinking, meteor, meteorite, comet. Iím not entirely sure I know where these things overlap.

Connie - I have no idea.

Graihagh - Given weíve all been so excited, none of looked anything more into it.

Connie - No, not at all. I was just excited I was getting a meteorite but, actually, probably not sure what that is!  I just know itís space rock of some sort.

Graihagh - OK itís your birthday soon, so Iím going to make it my mission to find out as much as I can about this rock.

Connie - Yeah, two weeks. So youíve got two weeks to find out, and if you can get some form of certificate, Iíll be particularly happy.

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