Tagish Lake - ROM2008_10043_13


Tagish Lake

Geography: Canada, British Columbia: Tagish Lake, Atlin
Length=4.5; Width=4.5; Depth=2.5 cm
Object number: M52292
Credit Line: Funded by Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust and the Cultural Properties Export Review Board
On view
DescriptionThe Tagish Lake meteorite fell in northern British Columbia on January 18th, 2000 at approximately 8:43 local time. It produced a remarkable fireball as it streaked across the dawn sky which was witnessed as far away as Whitehorse. On January 25th, local resident Mr. Jim Brook, returning to his hunting lodge on the Taku Arm of Tagish Lake, noticed pieces of blackened debris on the lake's frozen surface. Mr. Brook correctly guessed them to be pieces of the recently witnessed fall and set about collecting them. In all he recovered approximately 1 kilogram of fragments. Snow a few days later blanketed the lakes surface and ended further recovery. Mr. Brook made the important decision not to handle the specimens with bare hands and most importantly he kept them cold in a freezer. Since the meteorites fell in winter onto a frozen surface there is some possibility that they may still contain frozen liquid and gaseous components from outer space. If so this would be the first time that such samples were available for study. Currently the Tagish Lake meteorite is classified as a CI2 which places it in one of the rarest classes of meteorites known. It contains minerals and carbon-based chemical compounds dating to the beginnings of the solar system. It also contains what maybe material from another star. Tagish Lake has an abundance of so called 'nano'- diamonds, microscopic diamond crystals that may have formed in another star which predated our solar system. This star would have undergone a super-nova event, scattering these particles into the cloud of gas and dust from which our solar system formed.
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