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Professional Meteorite Hunting

Why Is This Rock Worth 400 000 Popular Mechanics


How To ID a Meteorite

The rock you found in your backyard might be from space. 

Location: According to the Meteoritical Society, authentic meteorites have been found in every state except Delaware, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Novices, however, are better off hunting in the deserts of Arizona or the dry lake beds of Nevada, where the rocks can be seen with the naked eye. 

Color: Fresh falls have a black fusion crust. (Contrary to popular belief, they're also cold to the touch.) In time layers of rust give the rocks a reddish-brown patina. 

Regmaglypts: These thumbprint-like depressions form on the surface of a meteor as it passes through Earth's atmosphere. 

Magnetism: Magnets react to the iron–nickel alloy common to most meteorites. 

Weight: Because of their unusual density, meteorites can be up to 3.5 times heavier than Earth rocks of similar size. 

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