Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 69.djvu/28

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24
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

devoted to the Mexican falls, or Dr. Brezina, of Vienna, to those of Europe, only can correct erroneous nomenclature of this kind.

Again it is entailed, in the trials of a collector's work, to find some of his ' falls ' spurious, that the specimens are illegitimate or are terrestrial; an accident which may awaken irreverence in the lay mind, but which has sent a shock—often salutary—throughout the community of 'star-gatherers.'

All falls or finds are recorded—generally in a description authoritatively made by the finder or a scientific acquaintance—and the objective goal to be reached by collectors is to have a representation of all such occurrences. Obviously size or weight is significant, and it is not

 

PSM V69 D028 Cuarnevaca main mass.png

Cuarnevaca, Main Mass.

 

unnatural for a layman to insist upon the superiority of a smaller collection with handsome examples over a larger collection where the specimens are diminutive or insignificant. The masses of various localities differ also greatly in size, the amount of material falling varying enormously in different falls, and so the value of a particular kind of meteorite is conditioned upon its initial size. It is quite evident that a mass of one thousand grams will not admit of such attractive subdivision as one of five thousand, and, in the case of the Angra-dos-Reis aerolite, one of the rarest of meteorites, there is not enough to 'go round.' The Angra-dos-Reis unit also possesses peculiar lithological features, which naturally enhance the value given to it by its physical diminutiveness.