Iron meteorite (IA) 1629 grams (3 pounds, 9.4 ounces)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Welcome to the world of other worlds !

Iron meteorite (IA)

One of the world’s most abundant meteorites, over a hundred tons having been found scattered over a wide region.

The larger Campo del Cielo meteorites are found in and around a series of small craters in the southwestern part of the strewn field. The largest crater is 78 by 65 meters.

These dates are consistent with an Indian oral tradition that the irons fell from heaven.The first record of the Campo was in 1576. A Spanish governor learned of the iron from the Indians who reportedly believed that it had fallen from heaven. The governor sent an expedition under the command of one Captain de Miraval who brought back a few pieces of a huge iron mass he called Meson de Fiero (large table of iron).

It is thought that when asteroids melted, iron, being dense, sank to the centre to form a metallic core. These melted asteroids are known as differentiated since they have separated into concentric shells, with an iron core surrounded by a silicate mantle and perhaps even a silicate crust. As this concentric, differentiated structure is similar to that of the terrestrial planets, (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) iron meteorites can tell us a great deal about how the metallic cores of planets formed.

Around five out of every 100 meteorites that fall are iron. However, because iron is a tough material, they are more likely than stony meteorites to survive the fall to Earth. This means that most meteorite craters are likely to have been caused by iron meteorites.

Iron meteorites consist mainly of an iron-nickel metal alloy and most have a distinctive crystalline structure with bands containing low and high levels of nickel known as Widmanstatten texture. The low nickel alloy is the mineral kamacite and the high nickel alloy is taenite. These are the same as the terrestrial minerals ferrite and austite. There can be wide variation in the texture, as well as the mix of other minerals within iron meteorites, such as iron sulphides and iron carbides. This means there are a lot of different groups and sub-types of iron meteorite and they can be related to both stony achondritic and chondrite meteorites.

Price: $6,000 USD.

* A real beauty of a display piece! 1629 grams (3 pounds, 9.4 ounces), it measures 4-1/8" wide x 3-1/4" deep x 2-5/8" tall

Please Contact Mr. Siriphong P.

Tel : +66 089 1411002

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Skype : djphong

Monday, March 26, 2007

When Crusaders Found the Lunar Eclipse Auspicious P.I

(AINA) -- Total Lunar eclipse, like one witnessed across the globe recently (March 3 & 4, 2007), is an astronomical phenomenon. It happens when the sun, the earth and the moon are aligned in a straight line in the sky. The Moon instead of reflecting the sun light, as is customary, gets enshrouded in the earth's shadow cast by the sun light. The eclipse ends when the moon, propelled by its revolutionary motion around the earth, emerges from the shadow of the latter. An eclipse is no less natural event than the occurrence of day and night, the change of seasons, only less frequent. Yet, it carries an astrological stigma of inauspiciousness. Astrologers advise against undertaking any new venture on and around lunar (or solar) eclipse. Yet, watching this astronomical sport has become very popular nowadays.
Astrologers might not treat lunar eclipse as auspicious, but the Crusaders did. Why so you might wonder. I have come across, at least two references of lunar eclipse being hailed as good omen by the Crusaders. The first instance was from the First Crusade to recover Jerusalem (1096-1099). On the night that intervened between June 6 and 7, 1099 there was an eclipse of the moon. It was hailed by the army of Tancred, which was proceeding from Bethlehem towards Jerusalem for final showdown, as a sign from the Lord. Crescent moon, as we know, is the symbol of Islam. An eclipse of the moon, to them, signified eclipse of Islam that held Jerusalem and Bethlehem in shackles as well as threatened Christendom through the Balkans.
One might accuse the Crusaders of being ignorant of the scientific reason behind lunar eclipse, like the African tribesmen in Henry Rider Haggard's adventure novel King Solomon's Mines (1885) and mistaking it for divine portent. Christianity, both from its Hellenic and Jewish background, derived the idea of geocentric rather than heliocentric model of heavens. It was not until 1992 (Pope John Paul II) that Vatican made peace with Galileo Galilee, dead in 1642. Geocentrism, I am amazed to learn, still have a fringe following amongst Christians.
Tancred (1072-1112), later Prince of Antioch, was born in Italy. He took the Cross in 1096, along with other Norman lords of southern Italy, and joined the services of his uncle Bohemund of Taranto for the First Crusade. He was arguably one of the two Crusade leaders (the other being Gaston IV of Bean) to enter the Holy City on July 15, 1099 after it was recovered from the Muslims.
But the lunar eclipse was a good omen, for it actually brought good tidings. The night of eclipse was not just a night of hope, but a night of jubilation. For the Lord had already delivered the Christian hosts the Christ-nativity town of Bethlehem. Tancred was camping at Bethlehem while his army marched towards Jerusalem. Previously when Tancred was in Emmaus (a village in Palestine), some Christian emissaries from Bethlehem, had come to meet Crusaders secretly. They said Bethlehem was entirely Christian but suffering under Islamic rule. Tancred, along with Baldwin of Le Bourge and a band of knights, mounted their horses at once. Taking a hilly path they reached Bethlehem by the night's dark. First the Christian denizens were afraid thinking a Muslim army had come from Egypt. But as the dawn broke out they recognized the Crusading knights by their Crucifix insignia. And lo! the entire Christian population came out in a procession, bearing all the relics of Church of Nativity, and kissed the hands of their deliverers. When Tancred entered Bethlehem at the head of his army, the delighted citizens took over the Crucifix banner from his hands and placed it upon the Church of Nativity.
A hundred knights sped towards the main body of the army to deliver them the good news of Bethlehem's recovery. At noon the army reached the summit of the road; on a hill top that pilgrims called Montjoie. Upon it was located the Nebi Samuel, or the tomb of Prophet Samuel (908 m above sea level). It was the site of a Byzantine monastery that had existed through early Arab period (7 th to 10th century) until Crusaders built a fortress there. Afterwards was a Jewish pilgrimage until Muslims decided to build a mosque at the site in 1730 AD, which reconstructed after ravages of World War I still stands. It was on June 7, 1099 (the day after lunar eclipse) that Crusaders were blessed with the sight of Jerusalem from atop Nebi Samuel, five kilometres away. Although another month was to pass before the Holy City would be recovered from Muslim hands, their three year long expedition from West Europe to Mid-East was in sight of its culmination. It must have cool sight in the parched summer of Palestine. (Described in The First Hundred Years, A History of Crusades-I, University of Wisconsin Press, 1969 pp.332-3)

When Crusaders Found the Lunar Eclipse Auspicious P.II

The other instance of lunar eclipse was on July 9, 1218 during the Fifth Crusade (1218-1221). This Crusade was fought in the verdant Nile Delta of Egypt rather than Palestine. The idea to wrest Egypt, the dynamo and springhead of Muslim power, in a bid to recapture Jerusalem dated back to the days of Third Crusade. In the process, however, Crusaders had captured Constantinople sooner than Cairo. In 1203, a scandalizing event of Crusade history took place, when a Crusader fleet launched from Zara (or Zadar in Croatia) on Dalmatian coast for Alexandria was diverted to Constantinople. The Holy City of Eastern Orthodoxy was raved and pillaged by the Crusaders. Crusaders had come round the view that the regime in Constantinople was a hindrance rather than facilitator in the Crusade venture. From 1204 to 1261, when Greeks recovered it, Constantinople remained under the Crusaders.
The Fifth Crusade (1218-1221) also witnessed a 'diversion' from scheduled route. In May, 1218 when a large numbering of Crusaders and war-fleet had gathered in Acre, the Levantine port city in Christian hands, it was decided to storm Damietta in Egypt's Nile Delta rather than proceeding to Jerusalem directly. The reasons later cited by James of Vitry in a letter to Pope Honorious III were three. Egypt, in contrast to Syria, enjoyed a clement summer; conquest of Egypt could bring enormous resources and strategic advantage to the Crusading movement; Egypt also has a Christian presence under Muslim subjugation Biblical connections, and is known as the place where the Holy Family had taken refuge.
On May 27, 1218, the vanguard of Crusading fleet appeared, through the mouths of Nile, in the harbour of Damietta, two miles inland on the right bank of the main branch of the river viz. Damietta branch that empties in the Mediterranean. The Crusaders encamped on the west bank of the river, a region called Jizat Dimyat (island of Damietta), a isle of roughly three square miles in area rounded on the west by an abandoned canal al-Azraq. Within a few days Constantinople-based John of Brienne- King of Jerusalem (a notional title since 1187's loss of Jerusalem to Saladin) arrived with duke Leopold of Austria and other chivalrous knight orders. The Crusaders felt it was a good omen that the water of Nile, although so close to the sea, tasted so fresh. On the night of July 9, they saw the eclipse of the moon, which to them presaged the eclipse of Islam.
At that time, one of the spectacular battles in entire Crusade history was underway. It involved taking control of the Burj as-Silsilah (or the Chain Tower), a 70 tier formidable tower on an isle of the Nile. Chains, from the tower, extended to the east to the well-fortified town of Damietta on the east, and perhaps also to the western bank. The fortified tower, which could house a garrison of three hundred men, could prohibit the entry of enemy vessels. Reducing the Chain Tower was the key to subdue Damietta, like capturing Damietta was key to wresting Egypt, and conquering Egypt was the key to recovering Jerusalem. The Crusaders attacked it intermittently for three months, with all possible techniques, but to no avail.
Finally scholasticus Oliver, the mentor of German and Frisian Crusaders, came out with a brilliant piece of military engineering. Self-effacing Oliver wrote in Historia Damiatina-"with Lord showing us how and providing us with an architect". It involved, although details won't be relevant here, building a miniature wooden castle, protected from Greek fire, borne on ships. The Crusaders mounted the attack, on August 24, braving strong adverse current. The Muslim counterattack had almost decimated the new strategy, when Crusaders were able to turn the tide. Hayo of Fivelgo, a Frisian Crusader, was the first to reach the tower, cut down the green banner of Islam, and Sultan al-Adil's yellow banner and planting Crucifix standard on the Chain Tower. As it fluttered in the sea-ward breeze the Christian on the river bank sang thanksgiving song Te Deum Laudamus. (Described in The Later Crusades, 1189-1311, History of Crusades-II, University of Wisconsin Press, 1969 pp.396-401)
Sultan al-Adil, a brother of Saladin, died of shock on August 31, 1218 on hearing the news of daring Christian victory at Damietta. He was secretly buried in Damascus, lest the news of his defeat stir revolts in the Empire, which was now divided amongst his three sons. Al-Kamil, inherited Egypt as Sultan. It was Al-Kamil, who in 1229 (after death of his brother and rival Al-Muazzam, king of Syria) handed over Frederick II, the Holy Roman Emperor, Jerusalem impressed by his 'fluency of Arabic and knowledge of Islam'.
The Crusaders were ensconced in Damietta for three years after the battle of Chain Tower. In July 1221, they proceeded upwards to Cairo. But here they were defeated as a result of a nocturnal attack of Sultan Al-Kamil resulting in heavy loss of Crusaders lives. The Crusaders not only had to give up the dream of conquering Egypt but surrender Damietta in return to 8-year peace accord with Europe.
Today, the crescent moon of Islam is in an accruing mode. It has a determination in place to overcast the entire globe. Its primary weapon today is burgeoning demography- bomb of the womb, Jihad is only auxiliary. Muslim have considerably increased their share in global population during the 20th century -- 12 percent in 1900 to about 19 percent in 1990 ( The Religious Demography of India by AP Joshi/MD Srinivasan/JK Bajaj, Centre for Policy Studies, Preface p.xxii)
The fault line clashes like Lebanon (1976-1990), the Balkans (1990s), Paris riots (2005), and Jihad against Israel are only going to get better of present world-order. Whether it is Europe or India, the prolific Muslim demography will prove to be a bugbear to internal security. In Christ-nativity town of Bethlehem, Christians have been turned into a minority by the Muslims. In 1948 one mosque served the entire Bethlehem area, today there are more than ninety. Hundreds of Christian families have emigrated out of Bethlehem since then. In 1990, Bethlehem was 60 percent Christian; by 2003 it was less than 20 percent . Justice Reid Wiener, a resident scholar of Jerusalem Centre for Public Affairs, recently authored the book Human Rights of Christians in Palestinian Society (2005) fears at this rate Bethlehem might become a Christian theme park in another fifteen years, with hallowed Christian legacy but no Christians.
What did the lunar eclipse portend to you this time? Don't we badly need to take lesson from the never-say-die attitude of the Crusaders? Whether lunar eclipse is auspicious or inauspicious, Crusaders believed in the dictum --" If God is for us, who can be against us" (Roman 8:31). There is a lesson for us.

By Priyadarsi Dutta

Why Eclipses Happen

total solar eclipse—when the moon passes in front of the sun and blocks it completely—is an amazing sight. To see a total solar eclipse, you have to be in just the right spot on the earth. When you look up in the sky at the sun and the moon, you notice a strange coincidence—both look the same size in the sky. Both the sun and the moon look about one-half degree in diameter. Now, they're not really the same size. The sun's diameter is actually 400 times the moon's diameter. But, you must also take into account that the sun is also 400 times further away from the earth, reducing its apparent size to the same as the moon's. Because of this relationship, when you are standing on the earth, looking up at the two, you must be in a very limited zone to see the moon cover the entire face of the sun. If you were to move a little north, the sun would peek out over the top of the moon; a little south, and the sun shines past the southern limb of the moon. The match is so good that the "path of totality" is never more than 167 miles in diameter, and is usually less. This means that very few people have seen a total eclipse because the shadow only covers a very small area on the earth.

This diagram (wildly out of scale) shows a side view of the alignment. From anywhere in the grey penumbra, you will see some part of the sun shining from behind the moon. The penumbra is the area of partial eclipse. Only from within the tiny area where the dark umbra touches the earth will you see the sun completely covered and witness a total eclipse.
The earth and the moon are not fixed objects. The moon is busy orbiting the earth. The earth is busy orbiting the sun and additionally rotating on its axis. This means that the spot on the earth where the umbra falls is always in motion and actually traces out a path.
This diagram shows the path of the umbra for an eclipse on December 4, 2002. Only the central blue lines mark out the path of the umbra. The much wider area shows the path of the larger penumbra, where a partial eclipse can be seen. Click here for a closer map of the umbral path over Africa.
The shadow first touches down in the Atlantic Ocean east of South America. It travels eastward and first sees land on the west coast of Angola. The shadow proceeds east through central Angola, then progresses through Zimbabwe and Mozambique. The shadow leaves the African continent and crosses the southern tip of Madagascar near sunset.
by Ron Hipschman

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Ashes and Snow

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