Strange molten metal found on Columbia

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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby MonGoose » Tue Jul 19, 2011 9:32 am

Relatively speaking, how heavy are the pieces?

I agree that it appears to be molten metal instead of a naturally occurring mineral.
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:02 am

I am no geologist but the cratering on the underside looks like the kind of pits you see in meteors from their entry through the atmosphere. I saw that on the Discovery channel so I really don't mean to imply that I know what I am talking about.
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby Ned-man » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:20 am

That is bizzare; I have seen several plane crash-sites but their aluminium looks nothing like that, the way the rock chunks are IN it I would say it was melted on the spot and cooled around the rocks. Do you have a pic of the piece you said looked "machined" and did not melt?
I could believe that it came down from orbit, aluminium is used a lot in space parts.
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby mountainmanny » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:20 am

i still say slag....

So here is a thread i started on another forum.... it will be figured out soon... http://www.mindat.org/mesg-11-230642.html
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby ajkagy » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:36 am

mountainmanny wrote:i still say slag....

So here is a thread i started on another forum.... it will be figured out soon... http://www.mindat.org/mesg-11-230642.html


yes, most likely scenario...
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby its_not_a_tuba » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:44 am

ajkagy wrote:
mountainmanny wrote:i still say slag....

So here is a thread i started on another forum.... it will be figured out soon... http://www.mindat.org/mesg-11-230642.html


yes, most likely scenario...


I agree, after seeing the big photos there is no way it could have melted around the rocks like that unless it was dumped as molten right there on the spot right?
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby highpilgrim » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:49 am

Various types of analytical reagents like perchlorates, combined with metal shavings in a metal container can be ignited and will melt all the metal during the combustion process. You can make explosives, fireworks or signaling devices this way.

You'd be left with a puddle of molten metal that would congeal around the area when it cooled. In some cases, the process can be one where some of the metal gets splashed around while it's burning.

Homemade pyrotechnics...
Last edited by highpilgrim on Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby kbmiller » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:50 am

Could be remains of an aluminum something that got struck by lightning.
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby Flux » Tue Jul 19, 2011 10:54 am

Could it have been a summit register can (aluminum) that got hit by lightning??

It's definitely aluminum though.

Having found a plane crashed behind Coney lake, I can also believe the "metal from the sky" theory.

Odd and very cool though.
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby highpilgrim » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:10 am

Flux wrote:

I can also believe the "metal from the sky" theory.



Metal from the sky doesn't come down in liquid form and stay in a tight little puddle like that. It melted in place and then fuzed around the rocks it was on.
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Re: Strange molten metal found on Columbia

Postby mtnfiend » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:20 am

crossfitter wrote:Are you sure it was a light metal and not iron? It sounds like someone could have been playing with thermite up there. Would explain the little metal splatters.


Thermite seems like a reasonable explanation, although the metal doesn't have to be iron. In fact, many thermite reactions utilize the oxidation of aluminum, titanium, and magnesium.
highpilgrim wrote:Various types of analytical reagents like perchlorates, combined with metal shavings in a metal container can be ignited and will melt all the metal during the combustion process. You can make explosives, fireworks or signaling devices this way.

You'd be left with a puddle of molten metal that would congeal around the area when it cooled. In some cases, the process can be one where some of the metal gets splashed around while it's burning.

Homemade pyrotechnics...
Yes - exactly!!!

ajkagy wrote:
mountainmanny wrote:i still say slag....

So here is a thread i started on another forum.... it will be figured out soon... http://www.mindat.org/mesg-11-230642.html


yes, most likely scenario...


My gut says no to slag. Slags are not usually crystalline but are more often very brittle glass phases, plus they often exhibit vibrant red and blue colors.
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