The Philosophy of Space and time by micromike


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    Fusion Crust         

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Note: Many of the early photomicrographs were taken with a toy microscope that has only the most general methods of controlling light and focus. (I have now acquired a new microscope and will be making more pictures as I have time and money.) Many pictures were taken and only a few were acceptable. The depth of field of many of my subjects was greater than the depth of field of the microscope, so it made it impossible to focus everything at once. I apologize if any one loses their sight from viewing these pictures.

The reason for this section is that there has been some confusion over the fusion crust of this meteorite. When any object flies through our atmosphere, it must undergo some kind of change that would prove its passage through the air. We now know that rocks high in silicon are common on Mars, but not common among meteorites, since most meteorites come from the asteroid belt, where volcanic forces have not been at work. A rock made of silicon and vesicles with thin walls will handle the heat differently than a solid rock. The silicon and thin walls act to quickly carry the heat away allowing the rock to suffer less "damage" than a "normal"rock. On most meteorites, the fusion crust is clearly visible to the naked eye. On my rock, the fusion crust is easier seen by using a small microscope, although melting is macroscopically visible over much of the surface.

The fusion crust is clearly visible here. This particular spot is the most like a "normal" fusion crust. I have proposed that this rock came from Mars, but some who have viewed it claim that it is terrestrial and that the melting one sees on it came from the volcano on Earth which spewed it out. This is impossible since the rock was created by lava flowing through a bed of sand two times and 36 million years apart. All of the vesicles of this rock are filled with sand and clay. The rock would then have to have some kind of propulsion to take it from the ground and into the air so that it could fall on the ranch. But if we take this one step further, we can see that the sandy material has been melted into the volcanic material in many places near the outer edge of the rock. This means the sandy material was in the rock before the rock flew through the air. Mars is now a much more likely candidate than is Earth.

If you look carefully, you can see where the sand melted with the volcanic material. But also, you can see where other particles have "stuck" to the surface when it was hot. The sand must have been blowing in many directions at once as this was coming through the air. Each of the little vesicles would act to stir up the air in that region and then the structure and composition would help keep things from getting too hot. What a perfect little space ship.

If you look carefully at this picture, you can see the "lines of heat" where the air rushed through this crevice. If you look at the upper left hand corner of the picture, you can see a "line" that runs from the upper left at a 45 degree angle towards the bottom of the crevice. When this section is viewed through a microscope, you can see the changes that melting has caused along this line. This, of course, is just one example of the melting seen over the entire outer surface, if you use a small microscope. Once you see the internal sections, it is easy to see how much the outside is melted in comparison. The picture below shows what the external surface would have looked like before coming through the atmosphere. The right hand side of this core sample would represent the bottom of a one-inch deep vesicle that was exposed to the outside. As you travel from right to left, you are going deeper into the rock.

See how the "pores" are so much more open on the internal sample as compared to the entire exterior of the meteorite. If you were to heat this section sufficiently, then it would melt and make the walls stronger and thicker. This is exactly what we see in the photo before this one. The heating process caused when the rock flew through our atmosphere has closed the vesicles. The fusion crust is normal for a rock of this type, but is different than other meteorites. That shouldn't be such a hard thing for people to see. Different materials and structures would have different results when they make a passage through our atmosphere. For proof of this statement, witness the fuel tank which recently landed in Texas without apparent damage after falling from space. Look at this rock and see the damage it suffered when it too, came from space.

To better understand the process of the formation of the fusion crust on the Frass meteorite, I have made a series of drawings to show what would happen when a thin-walled, highly vesicled rock comes through our atmosphere.

In diagram A, we see the rock as it first begins to enter the atmosphere. Notice the sand and particles are still in all of the vesicles.  The air currents are shown by the arrows.

In diagram B, the process is continuing.  Some of the outer material of the walls of vesicle 1 have begun to melt and to thicken.  Some of the material is blown from the rock as it heats up and the pressure of the atmosphere forces it away from the rock, so vesicle 1 has lost most of its contents.  Another thing to notice is how complex the air currents would be for a rock of this type.  Normal, flat meteorites present a relatively simple aerodynamic profile to the atmosphere, whereas the Frass meteorite would have been composed of countless tiny air currents, all helping to carry away the heat being generated.  Also, the loss of materials would help in the heat dissipation.

In diagram C we can see larger pieces leaving the rock.  The contents of vesicle 2 have now been eliminated and the outer wall to vesicle 3 has now been breached and its contents will soon begin to exit the rock.  Many of the outer walls have now been melted and are much thicker than they originally were.  The air currents have become even more complex.

Diagram D represents the rock as it looks today, after its fall through the atmosphere.   All of the outer vesicles have been cleared of sand and debris.  The outer walls are thicker than the interior walls due to the heating by our atmosphere.  Many of the vesicles show levels that are 2, 3, or 4 vesicles deep.

It is amazing to me that all of the scientist I have talked to refuse to accept this explanation for the fusion crust of my meteorite.  They will not listen to my arguments and merely say that it doesn't look like the meteorites they have seen before, so it can't be a meteorite.  In my opinion, a meteorite is a piece of space debris that falls to Earth, not something proclaimed a meteorite by a meteorite specialist.

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Contents    Core Samples  Fusion Crust  Age  Chemistry   Martian Dust  Mars Model Local Volcanoes Geology Report  Glass Internal Structure Boundary  Sites Overview  Home  Write NASA

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