Touching history.

Just a short one – I’m still alive, I swear. School just started, which is very exciting. I’m taking Mineralogy, which thus far has been a very exciting class. We’re doing “Adopt a mineral” where we pick out a mineral at the start of class, and write a paper about it at the end. Mine is a variety of Olivine, which is a very neat mineral, so expect to hear more about it in the future.

I’m rushed right now, though, so just a quick one.

Today we were talking about physical properties (more on that later), and my professor brought out a piece of a meteorite to pass around. It had been cut neatly from the main body of the meteorite. So one surface was polished to a dark, metallic shine, and the other side was all whorls and bumps, rough and rusty black. It was a lot heavier than I expected – iron and nickel with just a few traces of other minerals.

That piece of meteorite was 4.5 billion years old, which makes it older than the oldest rock discovered thus far on the earth. (Which is a piece of metamorphic rock that is, I believe 4.4 billion years old.) And this rock had hurtled through space, across unknown, cast distances, and then torn its way through our atmosphere to impact in Africa.

As I looked at the rough side of the rock slice, I felt true awe. What kind of story could a rock tell, of 4.5 billion years. Where had it been. Even trying to imagine that sort of antiquity is impossible for the human mind, really. We can only grasp numbers up to a certain point, and then it just becomes more than we can understand.

This is why I think geology is so exciting. If you believe in a god, of whatever sort, this is what it’s like to reach out and try to touch it.

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