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The Zarkah Stone

The Park Forest Meteorite Case



Author:

Teresa M. Schulz
Science Department
Lansing Community College
schulzt@lcc.edu

Abstract:

On the night of March 26, 2003, a brilliant fireball exploded and fragmented over south suburban Chicago, hammering houses and sidewalks with meteorites. Many people witnessed the event and collected the precious stones. This is the story about the meteorite that smashed through the roof and into the lives of the Zarkah family. Appropriate for an introductory astronomy or planetary science course, the case explores the physical and chemical characteristics of different types of meteorites and their different origins as well as the fascination and value they hold for the scientific community and collectors.

Objectives:
  • Define the terms "meteoroid," "meteor," and "meteorite."
  • Define "ablation" and "fusion crust" and explain what causes the light phenomenon called a meteor.
  • Define the major classifications of meteorites, their distinguishing physical and chemical characteristics, and different origins.
  • Trace the history of a chondrite from the solar nebula to its recovery as a meteorite on Earth.
  • Explain why meteorites are valuable to the scientific community and collectors.
  • Evaluate the scientific, commercial, and personal value of the five-pound chondrite called the “Zarkah Stone” and decide its fate.
Keywords: Meteorite; meteroid; meteor; chondrite;ablation; fusion crust; Garza Stone; Noe Garza; Park Forest; Illinois
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Discussion, Dilemma/Decision
Language: English
Subject Headings: Astronomy  
Date Posted: 08/15/05
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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