Hosts of “Meteorite Men” to visit gallery

Editor’s note: This article was revised for accuracy at 10:29 a.m. April 9.

Geoffrey Notkin said he enjoys visits to the university’s Oscar E. Monnig Meteorite Gallery. So much, in fact, that he said the university feels like his “home away from home.”

Notkin, a meteorite hunter and co-host of the Science Channel’s show “Meteorite Men,” will get to see one of his favorite museums Saturday when he visits the university with fellow meteorite hunter and “Meteorite Men” co-host Steve Arnold.

Notkin said that he hopes the audience will be entertained by his and Arnold’s discussion of their experiences from the show and that he and Arnold enjoy interacting with people who are interested in what they do.

On the show, Notkin, who said meteorite hunting is his passion, and Arnold, who makes a living by finding and selling meteorites, have searched many places in North America for meteorites using various techniques, including metal detectors, radar, satellite imagery, magnetometers and the old fashioned way of hunting-by-eye.

In addition to talking about meteorite hunting, Notkin said he and Arnold will show un-aired clips from the show, give a metal detector demonstration, talk about making a television series, sign autographs and give out photos.

Rhiannon Mayne, assistant professor of meteoritics and planetary science and curator of the university’s meteorite collection, said Notkin’s and Arnold’s show has brought out people’s enthusiasm for meteorites.

“Since ‘Meteorite Men’ started airing (its first full season in January), the Monnig gallery and collection has been inundated with people saying, ‘I think I found a meteorite, I’ve been watching (the show), can you please tell me if what I have is a meteorite?'” Mayne said.

One of the benefits of Arnold’s and Notkin’s visit is that it shows people that they can be interested in things even though they may not be experts in them, she said.

Mayne said she hopes the visit will show off the meteorite gallery, which is one of the largest university-based collections in the world, as well as deepen people’s interest in meteorites.

Notkin said the university’s meteorite gallery was one of his favorite museums in the country.

“It’s not just a wonderful collection of meteorites, it’s a stunningly beautiful display,” Notkin said. “I think it’s a fantastic asset to the city and the university, and TCU is extremely lucky to have received that collection (from the gallery’s namesake Oscar Monnig).”

Notkin said his ties to the gallery stem from Arnold, who introduced him to Arthur Ehlmann, emeritus professor of geology and the gallery’s former curator, when Arnold sold meteorites to the gallery. Notkin said he volunteered to photograph the collection, create the gallery’s Web site and write, design and publish the gallery’s catalog.

Mayne said Notkin’s company most recently sold meteorites to the gallery in February.

Sam Smith, a geology graduate student, is one of the students hoping to get an autograph from the stars of “Meteorite Men.” She said she wrote them a message on Twitter on March 30 to tell them she was excited for their upcoming visit. They replied the next day.

“Thank you, we are big fans of Fort Worth and TCU. Looking forward to returning. See you there,” the message read.

Smith said she hopes to be a professor and researcher of planetary science, so the “Meteorite Men” television program helps her identify with planetary science as a profession.

Staff reporter Wyatt Kanyer contributed to this report.

Geoffrey Notkin and Steve Arnold, co-hosts of Science Channel’s “Meteorite Men”

When: 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Sid Richardson Lecture Hall 1

Speaking event and autograph session are free and open to the public, but a reservation is required. Contact Teresa Moss at 817-257-6277 or [email protected] to RSVP.

The Oscar E. Monnig Gallery will be open during and after the presentation. “Meteorite Men” airs on Science Channel, TCU digital cable channel 74.2.