This Day In Astro History

jim brooks
Jim Brook with frozen remains
of Canada's great meteor find.
  Tagish smoke trail
Smoketrail from Tagish Lake meteorite.
photo by EwaldLemke

January 18

2001 - American Institute of Physics, Bulletin of Physics News, Number 521. Physicists in two separate laboratories stop a pulse of light.

canada 2000 - A meteor thundered over the Yukon in Canada. The noise and smell sent residents running. It's remains land on Tagish Lake and are smartly collected by Jim Brook and turned over to Canadian and NASA scientists for analysis. It is a carbonaceous chondrite, a rare type of space rock that contains many forms of carbon and organics, basic building blocks of life. The find is potentially the most important recovery of a rock  from space in at least 31 years. Later analysis of 45 chemical elements suggests that the space rock contains material that is unchanged since the birth of the solar system.
"Approximately 500 meteorites had been found on Taku Arm in a strewn field 16 kilometres long and three kilometres wide. Thousands more fell on the ice and the surrounding hills and mountains, but none have yet been found on land. Approximately 200 meteorites were recovered totaling five to 10 kilograms in mass, but most of this material remains frozen and a tonne of meteorite-bearing ice is now in storage. A field effort consisting of 234 person field days is now over. This recovery effort is believed unique in the history of meteoritics." (University of Calgary)

2000 - NASA ends attempts to contact Mars Polar Lander. It was lost on Dec. 3, 1999 during the landing phase of the mission.

2000 - The glow of x rays seen in all directions in space was now resolved into emissions from discrete sources by the Chandra X-Ray Telescope, ending the notion that the x rays come from distant hot gas. The American Institute of Physics Bulletin.
Mars Lander MIA
Mars Lander, Missing in Action
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It is my conclusion that human evolution and the motions of matter in space are intrinsically linked. The observation and understanding of the complexity of biological history on Earth cannot be complete without the tandem observation and understanding of a dynamic greater cosmos. - SpaceGene