December 3, 2018 9:57 pm

Go Meteorite Hunting with Host David Grinspoon and Meteorite Man Geoff Notkin

What would you call someone who travels the globe looking for some of the most fascinating artifacts known to the world? Indiana Jones? Possibly. Here at StarTalk All-Stars, we like to think a little bigger. On this episode, astrobiologist and host David Grinspoon, a.k.a. Dr. FunkySpoon, sits down with comic co-host Chuck Nice and meteorite hunter Geoff Notkin, known for hosting Meteorite Men, as we dive into the search for meteorites, recorded live during the Space Stories program at The Explorer’s Club.

Screen grab from Aleksandr Ivanov’s video of the Chelyabinsk meteor on February 15, 2013, via Wikimedia Commons.

Chelyabinsk meteor on February 15, 2013. Credit: Aleksandr Ivanov, [CC BY-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

How do you get started as a meteorite hunter? Are there certain techniques to find areas that are prone to meteorite landings? Find out how Geoff’s childhood influenced his career path, specifically his father waking him up in the middle of the night to look through the telescope.

You’ll hear about the ins and outs of meteorite hunting, including the most effective techniques like Doppler radar and cold hunting. Discover more about some of the weird things people have brought Geoff thinking they are meteorites. Geoff also tells us what rocks are most commonly mistaken as meteorites.

Then, we explore the big picture: life, and where it comes from. Chuck ponders if planets can “life swap”. We also discuss the idea of life arriving at Earth from elsewhere in the universe. Geoff shares how to determine if something is a meteorite and what are some determining factors that would necessitate sending something to the lab.

Lastly, you’ll learn more about the meteorite incident that happened in Chelyabinsk and Geoff shares where he was when it happened. We revel in the development of dash cams and HD cameras that allows the world to have multiple sightings of meteorite strikes. However, that leads us to the question: where are all the UFO sightings? All that, plus, Geoff tells us if we should be worried about a giant meteor strike that would wipe us all out.

Please join us tomorrow night for Meteorite Hunting, with David Grinspoon and Geoff Notkin at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on our All-Stars channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. And if you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen

Get the most out of StarTalk!

Ad-Free Audio Downloads
Ad-Free Video Episodes
Stickers & Mugs
Live Streams with Neil
Priority Cosmic Queries
Early-Access Videos
Learn the Meaning of Life
...and much more