A collectors’ Guide to Meteorites, Tektites and Impactites

This is a nice little guide for the non-specialist collector of all things that go bump from above (and the effects they have on the rocks they impact). As is clear from the title, the book covers three wide categories: meteorites, tektites and impactites. Broadly speaking, a meteorite is any piece of solid material that has arrived on Earth from space (and, of course, is not from the Earth in the first place, like space junk). Tektites are small, black, glassy objects found in great numbers in a roughly equatorial belt, which are thought to have been formed from molten debris by the impact of massive asteroids and/or comets. And impactites are rocks created or modified by the impact of a meteorite on the surface of the Earth.

With that in mind, the book covers: what meteorites are; their origins and classification; tektites and impactites; what makes the big holes that you find in them; meteorites in human history; meteorites and meteorwrongs(!); obtaining, preparing and displaying meteorites; and where you can see them. That is, everything an amateur needs to begin to understand and enjoy the subject as a hobby. In fact, it is a useful and accessible guide to all those who appreciate that, unlike most of the (passive) subjects of astronomy (distant stars, black holes, spiral galaxies and so on), meteorites and their associates are quite literally tangible evidence of the moon, mars, and far distant objects and asteroids.

For a self-published book, the style and format is both appropriate and easy to read. However, like most such books, it could have been improved greatly through the use of a sub-editor (please, 98% fewer exclamation marks), but this is a minor quibble. If you want a quick and informative guide to meteorites, tektites and impactites, this is a nice little starter guide and well worth the price.

The author, David Bryant, has been a full-time meteorite dealer for nearly 20 years, having established what is probably the oldest dealership in the UK. He has written numerous books and articles (including for this magazine), and has lectured about meteorites to audiences of all ages and experience.

Spacerocks: A Collectors’ Guide to Meteorites, Tektites and Impactites by David Bryant, Heathland Book (2018). 156 pp., softback, ISBN: 978-1-9997417-2-3.
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