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MISSING: 9.04 kilogram Sikhote-Alin shrapnel individual   More Info

Viñales   contributed by Mexico Doug   MetBul Link

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Photos by Mexico Doug.   Copyright (c) Mexico Doug.
112 grams.   Unclassified

Observed fall 1 Feb 2019, Viñales, Cuba.

Doug writes:
Viñales, Cuba. The pride of Cuban Tobacco!

Well, Viñales is definitely going to be big news for the asteroid collision / impact fans! Bet this meteorite is S5+ (shock stage) ...

This 112 g specimen found seven days after the fall is very curious. I left before the rain on February 12, who wants sloppy seconds?

Initially, it seems to be over 95% fusion crusted, however it has a relatively flat side that appears to have secondary crust or be the trailing surface of an oriented fall. But I saw no other real indicators of orientation. Instead it looks like perhaps the entire face fragmented off the plane of a shock vein.

Yet the material looks perhaps like impact melt and substantially or completely a black matrix or is it fusion crust? Anybody wanna take a loupe to the full size pics? In the center of the flatter side is a large patch of silvery gunmetal sheen that I have only seen in freshly fallen meteorites, which seems to be an iridescence or Schiller effect. (like I found with Osceola #8, another of my fresh finds). Could it be a sparkling skin of iron sulfide?

There seems to be a suggestion of a wee bit of white matrix peeking through only in the edge of the tiny chipped off crust portion next to the thickly crusted depression or crater in the rounded part of the stone, but that's it! How much, if any more, is inside hiding is truly a mystery. Comments and observations on the unique stone are welcome! I am trying to imagine what goodies might come out of slicing this stone...to slice or not to slice?

I spent some time in tobacco and fields and coffee plots in this place, with my Cuban family. Funniest thing happened, I spent the morning with a guy that harvested tobacco in the field discussing the process and pests, and looking for horn-worms, and sharing my ideas on how to combat the tobacco and tomato pests. Upon leaving Havana I walked by a carousel of postcards and there was my same tobacco friend staring me in the face from a postcard...ten years younger and harvesting tobacco!

Later the stone, which I'm still thinking is 95% crusted and clearly all black, met my own tomato plants in the pictures, as well as a globular cluster Omega Centauri and the oldest witnessed supernova with the help of Spitzer, other space telescopes in a composite background.

Qué bella isla!

Sharing my love of coffee with the locals was a big part of my adventure too! Additionally here are a few sights of Cuba to take in. See if you can find the Victoria style coffee grinder still being used there, and the national dish of Cuba, “Old Clothes”. In this case Ropa Vieja de Cordero (Old Lamb Clothes). Legend has it that a man was so poor he put his old clothes in a soup and prayed they become meat and his prayers were answered with a succulent beef skirt stew! The Polski Fiat car really is as roomy as it is small! It easily fits a whole family of burrowing tick larvae from the strewnfield :-)

Saludos to all! Viñaleros, "Patria o muerte, venceremos!" rings from the mountains!

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This Month

Miguel Granjero
 3/10/2019 3:15:07 AM
Gracias por compartir! Ya ves que los comunistas de la isla no pasan hambre y son tan hospitalarios que su puerta esta abierta y nadie te dispara por asomarte sin preguntar. Vi*ales es un meteorito extraordinario por haber caido en esa isla tan peque*a pero las imagenes que envias de esa familia y como viven no las cambio por nuestra estupida consumista civilizacion. Patria o muerte, venceremos!!
Bob King
 3/9/2019 4:18:06 PM
Great article and photos, Mexico! Love your observations of life.
 3/9/2019 8:47:56 AM
Stephen, you may be right about the oxidation during flight: it reminds me of when you take a piece of metal under a blowtorch and get a rainbow that over time disappears after exposure to the air. Matthias my brother, you have seen the Aleph! Abasi ikpaha, Afo ukpaha! Thank you for the kind words! (no washing in rum, though, nor drinking of the ceremonial exudate ;-)
 3/9/2019 4:10:37 AM
Hey, Doug: my congratulations! What a beautiful and strange stone. The surface features indicate a high shock stage indeed: shock plane, (slickensides?, impact melt?). I estimate much the whole story in text & pics. How the stone performs in different environments. Its shamanistic initiation through noble tobacco smoke (after having been ritually washed in pure old rhum?). Not to forget your own wormhole-passage through time confronting you with your friend 10 years before (smells like Borges). In any case: thanks for sharing!
Stephen Amara
 3/9/2019 2:15:21 AM
That*s a awesome Vinales stone. I can really see what you are talking about it is a very interesting feature especially if the entire side is a boundary of a shock vein, how cool would that be right!! The sheen is really interesting to me as well, I haven*t seen that before so to me it seems almost superficial, I wonder if the sheen is a artifact of the interaction of the fresh crust being formed and oxidized simultaneously during flight, cool features and great adventure man!!!!

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