The collector: Jon Taylor, critical care registered nurse on a surgical unit, Roanoke, VA, USA.
The collection: Meteorites, particularly witnessed falls, historic pieces and flight oriented specimens.
The story behind the collection...
My deep interest in astronomy brought me to the fascinating world of meteorites. I believe that meteorites are among the most interesting and scientifically important objects on the planet. Meteorites represent the oldest matter found on Earth and each unique individual has an intriguing story to tell about our solar system’s ancient past. Some contain pre-solar grains that existed before our sun formed and others possess complex amino acids that may have helped seed the Earth with the building blocks of life! Holding a 4.6 billion year old object that traveled millions of miles through the desolate vacuum of space is just awe inspiring to me! Meteorites challenge me to examine the meaning of time and to recognize the ephemeral nature of my own existence. A hundred years is inconsequential in the life of a meteorite! Meteorites also remind me of my childhood when I eagerly collected rocks, shells and others items that I discovered in nature. I had a large collection that I referred to as my museum when I was probably about 5 or 6 years old. Collecting meteorites brings me that same joy and excitement.
I have more than 100 specimens from around the world. I have been interested in natural history and astronomy all of my life and also have a small collection of fossils, but I am a relative newcomer to meteorite collecting. Most people think it is a rather eccentric hobby but I think it reveals my appreciation for nature, astronomy and creativity.
Most of my meteorite specimens are kept in a large glass and aluminum display case which allows them to be viewed at all times. I use desicants to maintain a dry environment for all of the rust prone meteorites. I also have a large weathered stone meteorite on display in my living room.
I cherish all of my meteorites but I am definitely partial to the witnessed falls, historic pieces and oriented stones. I am quite fond of my Ash Creek end cut that was taken from the main mass. This fireball that produced this meteorite was actually caught on video by a news team filming a marathon in Texas! My collection is continually evolving and will probably never be “complete”. It is growing at a brisk pace and I am quite consumed with the hobby. I spend a lot of my free time researching falls, searching for new specimens and corresponding with other meteorite enthusiasts on the web. I have read dozens of books and articles on the subject. I guess you could say I am obsessed with these extraterrestrial stones!
Images from top to bottom: 1. Sikhote Alin; 2. Saint Severin; 3. Plainview; 4. Allende; 5. Estherville; 6. Ash Creek; 7. Millbillillie.
Images © Jon Taylor & used with his kind permission.