Important Odessa iron meteorite from the collection of the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico, recovered in 1922 in Ector County, Texas. The complete specimen weighs 749.4 grams and measures approximately 115 mm x 97 mm x 37 mm, and bears a black-and-white hand-painted Institute of Meteoritics collection number, "K2-183." Accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Geoff Notkin of Aerolite Meteorites Inc. and the TV show Meteorite Men, as well as a specimen identification card; an Institute of Meteoritics identification card with matching inventory number is included. This specimen was acquired by Aerolite via an institutional trade.
Historic meteorites with hand painted museum numbers and old collection labels carry provenance that increases their monetary value but, more importantly, provides us with a tangible link to the past—to the collectors, researchers, and meteorite hunters who have gone before us. Historic specimens put us in touch with the early days of meteorite collecting and are friendly reminders that we are only temporary caretakers of these marvelous visitors from outer space.
The Odessa Crater in Ector County, Texas is one of only two in the United States where meteorites are proven to have been found. The other is Meteor Crater in Arizona. The Odessa Crater lies in the heart of Texas oil country, and meteorites were first discovered there by prospectors in the 1920s. A visitor center and small museum have been built nearby. The crater is now protected by the city of Odessa and collecting there is no longer allowed. As a result, this important crater-forming meteorite is now very difficult to acquire. The Odessa Crater was featured in an episode of the Meteorite Men television series.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.