The majority of meteors don’t make it to Earth’s surface in one piece, let alone in pieces of any size, so they are rare and valuable finds when they do. As you may have seen on the Science Channel, meteorite hunting is quite a thing. Some people collect them on the side, while others make a career (or obsession) out of it. And then there is musician, inventor and engineer Clair Omar Musser. Clair began collecting meteorites in his 30s, eventually amassing a collection that weighed over half a ton (meteorites are often rich in iron). But Clair didn’t let his hoard collect dust on the shelf, but instead forged almost half of it into a xylophone, an instrument he had been playing his whole life. He dubbed his creation a “celestaphone,” and it now sits on display in the Rhythm Discovery Center in Indianapolis. Not only are the keys made from meteoritic material, the entire support structure is as well. You could say everything but the bolts fell out of the sky.
Recently the Rhythm Discovery Center took the celestaphone out of its display and played it, to record its music for posterity. The folks at Everything Sounds have a lovely excerpt of it for you. Take a listen.
More news from outer space:
- Great view of of asteroid 2012 DA14’s flyby on Friday as seen from the Canary Islands. [VIDEO]
- Torino Scale is NASA’s version of the terror alert system for hazard posed by asteroid and comet impacts.
- Nice, clear explanation for why meteors explode in the atmosphere on their way to crashing to the ground.
- Could Bruce Willis really save us from certain doom? More awesomeness from the Journal of Special Physics Topics out of the University of Leicester.
- Researchers from the Keck Institute for Space Studies propose to bring an asteroid into the moon’s orbit to study it up close.
- Data from NASA’s Dawn mission causes astronomers to rethink the formation history of the second most massive asteroid in the Solar System. [VIDEO]
- In other news of objects flying overhead, why air traffic control is still not completely computerized.
- Fantastic NOVA special on how satellites enable us to see the Earth as one large interacting system.
And to keep you from OD’ing on rocky bodies, here’s some non-space geek for you:
- First grader programs her own computer game. What were you doing when you were six?
- Next time you’re enjoying some rigatoni, stop to appreciate the mathematics of your meal.
- Baby Komodo dragons have to climb up trees when they hatch or their mothers will eat them.
- Paeloclimatologists use animal urine as a proxy for past weather conditions in central and southern Africa.
Keep your eyes on the sky. @Summer_Ash