This is what my face looks like when someone lets me hold a piece of the Moon and Mars at the same time pic.twitter.com/wMN1HhXKpW— Sarah Hörst (@PlanetDr) April 13, 2018
This is a lovely picture. I'm not sure there's anyone who doesn't grin their face off when they're holding a meteorite, even those who's job it is to work on this stuff all the time.
After I'd been working at the Planetary Science Unit for a year or so, I went back to my old university department to give a here's a graduate talking about his job talk. Colin allowed me to take a meteorite from the unit's collection with me, and Phil furnished me with a small stone, maybe a couple of inches long to take with me. It was a fragment sawn from a larger meteorite, originally recovered from the northern Sahara. It had desert varnish on the exterior face with flecks of nickel-iron visible on the cut faces. It was, as these things go, an entirely uninteresting and unimportant meteorite. During my talk, as I described what meteoritics was and the things the analyses we did told us, I gave the meteorite to someone in the front row to look at and pass along. It took an age for it to work its way through the audience and back round to the front, and a little bubble of silence followed it through the room. There's something really profound about holding in your hand something that's been unchanged for four and half billion years, something that might even be older than this planet, that gives you a connection to the very birth of the solar system. If you get the chance, take it, savour it.