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dc.creatorKunz, George Frederick, 1856-1932
dc.creatorWeinschenk, Ernst, 1865-1921
dc.date.accessioned2024-02-12T18:09:15Z
dc.date.available2024-02-12T18:09:15Z
dc.date.issued1890-06-25
dc.identifier.urihttps://repository.tcu.edu/handle/116099117/63010
dc.descriptionArticle on the Farmington meteorite in the American Journal of Science.
dc.relationOscar Monnig Papers (MS 124)
dc.rightsPrior written permission from TCU Special Collections required to use any document or photograph.
dc.sourceSeries III, Box 06, Farmington, KA folder
dc.subjectMeteorite
dc.subjectFarmington meteorite
dc.subjectFarmington (Atchison County, Kan.)
dc.subjectArizona State University. Center for Meteorite Studies
dc.subjectCedar meteorite
dc.subjectSmithsonian Institution
dc.subjectGeological Survey (U.S.)
dc.titleFARMINGTON, WASHINGTON CO, KANSAS AEROLITE
dc.typeArticle
dc.description.transcriptionFARMINGTON, WASHINGTON CO, KANSAS AEROLITE. By G. F. KUNZ and E. WEINSCHENK, PH. D. ART. X. Farmington, Washington Co., Kansas Aerolite; by GEORGE FREDERICK KUNZ and Ernest WEINSCHENK PH. D. ON Wednesday, June 25, 1890, at 12.55 central time, a roaring, rumbling sound was heard within a radius of one hundred miles around Washington, Washington County, Kansas, and many observers noted a meteorite traveling from south to north, which in its course left a double trail of smoke. The sun at the time was shining brightly, and hence no light was seen. The explosion was likened by various observers to a bolt of lightning, the bursting of the boiler of an engine, or the report of a distant cannon. The largest portion of the meteorite, weighing 180 pounds, fell on the farm of Mr. W. H. January, who was greatly alarmed, as it struck very near him while he was under his wagon repairing it. This piece penetrated the hard shaly earth to a depth of four feet. Forty pounds of it were broken off and distributed before it was placed on exhibition after which it was sold and resold several times, and now belongs to Prof. Henry A. Ward of Rochester. Its dimensions now are 161 X161 X8 inches; weight 136 pounds. A distinct mass weighing nine pounds, now in the possession of George F. Kunz, was found on the farm of John Windhurst; and it is evidently this piece which made the second trail of smoke. The sound was noticed throughout a number of counties, both in Kansas and Nebraska, as a thunderous roar, which at Clifton, twenty-five miles from the point of fall, was heard above the noise of a passing railroad train. The meteorite was seen over a much wider area even than its sound covered. Reports of observers are given from many places, ranging from Beatrice, Nebraska, 40 miles northeast of the point of fall, to Cedar Junction, Kansas, 130 miles southeast, and Hal-stead, Kansas, an equal distance south by west. To those north of the point of fall, it appeared as a brilliant object moving southward, while to observers south of that point, its motion seemed northward. As Prof. F. H. Snow, who gives a full account of the circumstances attending the fall, remarks, these facts indicate that its descent must have been not far from vertical, as is also shown by the nearly perpendicular hole, about four feet deep, which it made in the earth. The actual fall was witnessed by Mr. January, as he came out from under his wagon alarmed by the extraordinary noise, *Science, July 18, 1890. and also by Miss Guild, a teacher in the Washington County Normal Institute, who was driving on the neighboring road, a hundred yards distant. Both came to the spot in a very few minutes; and Mr. January began promptly to dig for the object, and with the aid of neighbors reached its upper surface in an hour. But so firmly had it embedded itself in the shaly clay, that it was three hours before it was removed. When reached it was not hot. It had cracked into two portions, the the smaller of which was the forty-pound mass broken up and carried away by the people of the neighborhood. At the moment of its fall, the earth was thrown upward and outward for a distance of eight to ten yards or more. The following analysis was made by Mr. L. G. Eakins through the courtesy of Prof. F. W. Clarke, chief chemist of the U. S. National Museum, Washington, D. O. Approximate composition of the mass. Analysis of the iron. Analysis of the siliceous part from which all magnetic material had been extracted. Analysis No. I is the direct analysis of the portion soluble in HC1. Analysis No. 2 is calculated to equal 100. Analysis No. 3 the composition of the insoluble part. Analysis No. 4 calculated to equal 100. The nickel-iron of this specimen shows, as is generally the case in stony meteorites, a higher percentage of nickel and cobalt than is usual in meteoric irons. The constituent in this stone which was dissolved by hydrochloric acid, is shown by that fact to be olivine, in which the proportions of magnesiaAnalysis No. I is the direct analysis of the portion soluble in HC1. Analysis No. 2 is calculated to equal 100. Analysis No. 3 the composition of the insoluble part. Analysis No. 4 calculated to equal 100. The nickel-iron of this specimen shows, as is generally the case in stony meteorites, a higher percentage of nickel and cobalt than is usual in meteoric irons. The constituent in this stone which was dissolved by hydrochloric acid, is shown by that fact to be olivine, in which the proportions of magnesia and iron are as three to one. The crust on this meteoric stone is black and dull, frequently over 1 mm. in thickness. Macroscopically the Washington meteorite resembles a doleritic lava, of dark gray color and splintery fracture, with white radiated chondri which protrude from the ground-mass. The specimens also contain druses lined with crystals of sulphide of iron, the faces of which are rounded and present the appearance of having flowed through fusion, thereby rendering it impossible to measure the angles. No analysis of this material was made, although from the total lack of oxidation it might have promised good results. Nickeliferous iron, which in the fracture, is only slightly visible, becomes conspicuous on a polished surface, showing that it is present in many grains, some exceedingly minute, others up to 4 mm. in diameter. In one instance a vein 10 mm long and 1 mm. wide penetrated the mass, and on the surface of a polished section appeared bright serpent-like veins. The crust of the meteorite is black, hard and uneven, and the surfaces 0•8 mm. large are dull and often of beadlike form. Under the microscope, the porphyritic character of this meteorite is readily recognized; radiated and broken chondri and crystals of various minerals make up the microfelsitic groundmass. All these are entirely enveloped in an opaque, evidently glassy magma, the dark shade of which gives the color to the whole. This dissolves in cold ICI, imparting a yellow tint to the acid. Heating to redness does not destroy the color. which fact surely precludes the idea of its being due to the presence of any organic matter. Prominent are crystals and fractured masses of olivine, which feature is of rather rare occurrence. This olivine is rich in orientated opaque inclusions, and has also a distinct cleavage, which is seldom observed in olivine. The optical character was perhaps disturbed through the rapidity of its crystallization. Distorted undulation is common. Rhombic pyroxene is readily identified, frequently with a fibrous cleavage and mono. symmetric augite: also the monticellite-like silicate described by Tschermak. The Washington county meteorite belongs to the black chondrites and has the greatest resemblance to the meteorite of Sevenkof. It is undoubtedly not a polygenius conglomerate but was rapidly formed out of the fluid glassy magma. The thanks of the describers are due to Prof. F. W. Clarke and Mr. L. G. Eakins of the U.S. Geological Survey for the analysis, to Prof. Henry A. Ward for facts concerning his mass, and to Mr. Daniel Scheckler of Washington, Kansas, for obtaining one mass and information attending the fall.


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  • Records of the Monnig Meteorite Gallery [2247]
    The files are arranged alphabetically, usually according to the location of discovery of the meteorite. The files contain correspondence and research material on the meteorites in the collection.

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