meteorites

Meteorites

Two years in a row, I went to the Atacama desert (Chile) to look for meteorites, but I was that the point.

Let’s say I went astray, dreaming of a stone falling from the sky. Billions of stones in the desert like so many stars in the sky. Scan the sky and feel it tilt, scan the ground with a slow walk. Looking to the left, looking for the right, lift your eyes to regain your balance by leaning on the horizon, there where the part of the sky is the clearest, below this leaden sky of such a blue dense.

Walk towards a dark stone protruding from the ground, follox indentations, descend small ravines, set foot on a smooth ledge where the water crept in perhaps millions of years ago. I’m not walking from stone to stone, I walk as far as the eyes can see, with a wind coming from eveywhere. Like the sailor, I also sail upwind, I watch the sun’s course, I take my shadow as my reference point. A frank an dark shadow.

I keep the shadow behind my back and walk in front of the light to prevent my shadow from entering the field of view. Observing at the zenith is still the best and so much the better because it stays there almost 3-4 hours in winter. Here many stones are covered with a patina wich gives the impression that the rock has been scorched by the sun and the weather, in a suffering that seems unimaginable to us.

Even in a favorable area as it is, the immensity of the desert and the smallness of our travels on a line make an encounter with the meteorites almost improbable. We walk, our gaze riveted to the ground near our feet and a few meters in front, sweeping the ground from right to left like a windshield wiper. We go forward, always hoping that the next will be the right one. How many times have I thought I encountered a stone from heaven. I stooped? Have I weighed? took the magnet out of my pocket? Then reject the stone? … an insane number of times. And then I surely walked by in a few inches, deep in thought or attracted to that other stone right over there…to the other side.

Yes the meteorite exist, it is a stone incomparable to any other. Where the surface and structure of other is grainy, layered, brittle, angular, bulbous, conglomerated, jagged, the meteorite is coated with a molten crust polished in its fall, by the lightning of it’s entry into the atmosphere, the by the timpe wich completed its form. For science, it would be necessary to cut a slice of it wich would be carried in a laboratory, measured, authenticated, classified.