History of the meteorite collection of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Marina A. Ivanova, Mikhail A. Nazarov, 2006. "History of the meteorite collection of the Russian Academy of Sciences", The History of Meteoritics and Key Meteorite Collections: Fireballs, Falls and Finds, G.J.H. McCall, A.J. Bowden, R.J. Howarth
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The meteorite collection of the Russian Academy of Sciences is the largest and most unique collection of meteorites in Russia, and one of the famous meteorite collections in the world. The collection contains more than 1230 meteorites and approximately 25 000 individual samples. It also has samples of tektites and impactites, rocks from terrestrial impact craters. Practically all types of meteorites are represented in the collection, making it an excellent foundation for scientific investigations in Russia and worldwide. One hundred and ninety of the collection's meteorites came from territory that was under Russian jurisdiction at the time of accession. The meteorites are mostly represented by main masses and most of them are of historical significance.
The Academy of Sciences’ meteorite collection played a significant role in the formation of the science of meteoritics. As well as a scientific resource, the Academy of Sciences’ meteorite collection is a unique social phenomenon.
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The History of Meteoritics and Key Meteorite Collections: Fireballs, Falls and Finds
This Special Publication has 24 papers with an international authorship, and is prefaced by an introductory overview which presents highlights in the field. The first section covers the acceptance by science of the reality of the falls of rock and metal from the sky, an account that takes the reader from BCE (before common era) to the nineteenth century. The second section details some of the world's most important collections in museums - their origins and development. The Smithsonian chapter also covers the astonishingly numerous finds in the cold desert of Antarctica by American search parties. There are also contributions covering the finds by Japanese parties in the Yamato mountains and the equally remarkable discoveries in the hot deserts of Australia, North Africa, Oman and the USA. The other seven chapters take the reader through the revolution in scientific research on meteoritics in the later part of the twentieth century, including terrestrial impact cratering and extraordinary showers of glass from the sky; tektites, now known to be Earth-impact-sourced. Finally, the short epilogue looks to the future.
The History of Meteoritics and Key Meteorite Collections should appeal to historians of science, meteoriticists, geologists, astronomers, curators and the general reader with an interest in science.