May 2022 Business Meeting Report

by Andy Thompson, MSDC Secretary

Stock image, not an image of the reported fireball from April 27.

Kenny Reynolds, President of MSDC, called the meeting to order, welcomed and thanked everyone for coming and gave a grateful tip of the hat to two former club presidents who were in attendance.

Geology in the News

Members noted that on April 27, the public reported a flaming meteor was observed breaking up and streaking over three states: Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

As the meteor heated up from friction and fragmented, NASA estimated it generated the same amount of energy as 3 tons of TNT (trinitrotoluene) "which created shock waves that propagated to the ground, producing the booms and vibrations felt by people in the area." Notably, as the fireball heated up, it shone bright, and at its peak, it was ten times brighter than the full moon. Eventually, the fireball fully disintegrated about 34 miles above a swampy area near the border of Louisiana and Mississippi.

An image of the fireball on April 27, 2022 snapped by the Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instrument on the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) 16. Image credit: NOAA.

NASA confirmed that the meteor had an unusually high speed of 55,000 mph and noted that "more people heard it than saw it".  (When locals who recovered some of the fragments were asked to estimate the velocity when they first saw it, they all agreed that it was zero.) 😂

This meteorite was found in southwest Mississippi after the giant fireball was seen in the sky Wednesday, April 27, 2022, NASA says.

This meteorite was found in southwest Mississippi after the giant fireball was seen in the sky on April 27, 2022. Photo by Linda Welzenbach Fries via NASA.

Several short video clips captured the fireball as in fell and disintegrated. Check it out here! For further information and related articles, you can learn more here.

Approval of the April Business Minutes

Kenny asked if there were any editorial changes needed in the prior month’s Business summary as published in the May Mineral Minutes. Given no changes were proposed, he asked for and received a motion to accept, which was seconded and unanimously approved.

Treasurer’s Report

In absentia, John Weidner sent in his report which provided an update on club membership and grants bestowed.

1)      We have received dues from 38 entities: 14 family memberships and 24 individual memberships.

2)      Dues received are currently enough to meet our routine expenses other than our two annual donations. Please consider paying your dues, if you haven’t already, so we can continue to make our donations to the Smithsonian and to GWU geology students.

3)      Tim Rose provided the address for sending our Smithsonian donations (thanks, Tim). John reported that he mailed the check.

4) The check for the GWU geology student will be sent shortly. We have the funds to cover that award.

John also noted that we are making good progress on providing an option in our newsletter for paying MSDC’s annual dues online.

V.P. for Programs Report

Cindy announced that the presenter for our June 1 meeting will be Dr. Richard Tollo who teaches at George Washington University within the Geological Sciences Program. Richard has been a long-time friend of MSDC, presenter, and advisor helping identify student research projects supported by our club. He will be sharing his extensive research into the orogeny and dynamics of the Cascade mountain range of Western North America.

Upcoming Mineral Shows

Bob shared news of the NJ Mineral, Fossil, Gem and Jewelry show scheduled to run from May 11-15  in Edison, NJ.  Show information illustrates what may be a promising sign for the future of mineral shows as we emerge from the pandemic. This year’s May event was already very heavily subscribed (80%).  Although this show will be history by the time this notice makes it into print, the show’s organizers decided that for future years, the date of this extraordinary show will always occur the weekend following Mother’s Day.

No other mineral shows were identified or discussed.

Close of the Business Meeting

With no old or new issues to discuss, Kenny called for and received a motion to close the business meeting. That was seconded and unanimously accepted.  Kenny then turned the meeting over to Cindy to introduce the evening’s presenter, Dr. Jeffrey Post.