Description

    CANYON DIABLO METEORITE - NININGER SPHEROID STAR WITH MAGAZINE
    Iron coarse octahedrite - IAB-MG
    Meteor Crater, Coconino County, Arizona - (35° 3'N, 111° 2'W)
    Handmade by Dr. Harvey Nininger, the Father of Meteoritics, this is a star-shaped piece of aluminum onto which Nininger glued hundreds of Canyon Diablo spheroids he collected with a magnet. As was described in the Canyon Diablo Introduction, much of Canyon Diablo's mass vaporized when it struck Earth. However, a portion of the vaporized mass condensed in the upper atmosphere and "rained" back down to Earth in the form of spheroid-shaped droplets. It was these droplets that Nininger used to make his stars.

    In the 1930s, Harvey Nininger assembled what was, at the time, the largest private collection of meteorites ever. Nininger was so driven at his peak of productivity that, in the book Between The Planets (1941), Harvard professor Dr. Fletcher Watson wrote that Nininger was responsible for half of all the newly discovered meteorites in the world. Nininger built the American Meteorite Museum near Canyon Diablo, where much of his pioneering research was done. He recovered numerous Canyon Diablo specimens following countless surveys of the area. A decade after having opened his museum at a strategically located perch on Route 66, the museum went out of business when a new interstate siphoned off traffic. As a way of financing his expeditions to recover meteorites and as a way of helping to pay the museum"s rent, he came up with a handful of products to sell. The rarest examples of these products are the aluminum stars featuring difficult to obtain Canyon Diablo spheroids.

    Only 400 of these large stars were made and not many were sold. Nininger personally gifted this particular example to his young protégé: renowned meteorite hunter Steve Schoner. In addition to the Nininger Star, this lot contains an explanation of the spheroids which accompany the star, and a copy of the January 14, 1966 issue of Science. The mailing label is addressed to Nininger himself, and a note written by Nininger in pencil references an article contained in this issue: "Life in Meteorites." Spheroid Star: 118 x 108 x 2mm (4.66 x 4.25 x 0.1 inches).

    Provenance of Nininger Star: The Steve Schoner Collection, Flagstaff
    Provenance of Nininger's copy of Science: Falling Rocks Collection, Atlanta


    Condition Report*:

    Condition report available upon request.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    14th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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