octahedrite, stainless steel, bronze
21 x 30.5 x 8.5
In the months before leaving for China, I finished a new meteorite book. This book is titled Sidereal Heart, after Galileo's famous treatise Sidereus Nuncius (1610), the first book to be written regarding observations made through a telescope. Where Galileo presented observations of the moon, Jupiter and the stars, Sidereal Heart is made of the very material Galileo was observing. In this case, it presents a magnificent octahedrite, cut into four pieces to reveal the internal metallurgic structures including a large triolite nodule.
I decided to bring this book with me to China for an upcoming exhibition Suzhou University, and I hope to find a Chinese calligrapher or poet who might be interested in translating the patterns of this meteorite into their own vernacular. And so, this small piece of iron that fell from the sky a little over four thousand years ago, took to the skies again. However, before it did, it had to pass through an X-ray machine in airport security. Despite my invocations that it become invisible, it garnered a lot attention. In fact, it occurs to me that meteorites really like to draw attention to themselves. The TSA workers gathered around the screen speculating and gesticulating, and then looked around to see who might be the owner. “It's a meteorite,” I said rather hopefully. And they all laughed and pulled me aside. And, of course, it was a meteorite, and they called over more TSA officers and we had a private showing and an impromptu discussion about the cooling of planetary cores and things smashing apart in space (which in retrospect was kind of risky) and how it all could become a book that one might read. They loved it. It turns out that some of the TSA officers keep a list of the things they have seen pass through security, kind of like birders who keep a life list of the birds they have seen. The meteorite was worth big points on this list. They handed back Sidereal Heart, I put on my shoes and off I flew to China.
If you are interested in following our family blog on our adventures in China please see: http://nosnakes.tumblr.com/.
To see more images of meteorite books click HERE.
To read a short essay about meteorites click HERE.