A Two-Way Street

BIMS members, (from left to right) Graham Ensor, Kieron Heard, Martin Goff and Matt Smith, visiting the PSSRI clean meteorite storage facility (Image: Martin Goff).

It was a great pleasure earlier this month to welcome Matt Smith, Kieron Heard, Martin Goff and Graham Ensor of the British and Irish Meteorite Society (BIMS) to the Open University and to show them some of the current research activities taking place in the Planetary and Space Sciences Research Institute (PSSRI). BIMS is a UK-based group of enthusiasts, whose main aim is to prompt the public knowledge and understanding of meteorite science. The Society has an excellent website and group members keep in regular contact through a web-based forum.

During their visit to PSSRI, the BIMS group had a look at some meteorite polished sections in the clean petrography suite, were given a tour of the spaceflight development laboratory, oxygen isotope laboratory and organic geochemistry facility. They were also shown a presentation on the application of oxygen isotope analysis in meteorite studies.

But the BIMS visit was far from being a one-way street. Over lunch, we had a chance to have a good chat about meteorites. As in all subjects, there is always a lot of background information and off-the-record details that never appear in formal publications. The BIMS group added some new insights into the potential and real hazards of meteorite prospecting. It was also clear that all the group members were not only very enthusiastic about space rocks, but also had an impressive knowledge of current research on extraterrestrial samples. But don’t just take my word for it! Why not visit the BIMS website and read Matt Smith’s article about the BIMS visit to PSSRI.

It really was a lot of fun showing the BIMS group around PSSRI. If you want to get involved in the world of meteorites,joining the British and Irish Meteorite Society would certainly be a great way to do it.

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