How to tell if a rock is a meteorite: a beginner’s guide
If you’ve ever found a strange rock and wondered if it could be a meteorite, you’re not alone. Meteorites are relatively rare, but they’re not impossible to find if you know what to look for. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll go over some of the most important characteristics of meteorites so you can start your search with confidence.
The first thing to look for is a fusion crust. This is a thin, dark coating that forms on the outside of a meteorite when it enters the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s caused by the intense heat and friction of the meteorite’s journey, and it’s a telltale sign that you’ve found something special.
Another way to tell if a rock is a meteorite is by its weight. Meteorites are much denser than Earth rocks, so they tend to be heavier for their size. This is because they’re made of different materials, like iron and nickel. If you’ve ever hefted a meteorite in your hand, you’ll know that it feels surprisingly heavy.
Finally, meteorites often have a pitted or grooved surface. This is caused by the same process that forms the fusion crust, and it’s another way to tell that you’ve found a space rock.
If you think you’ve found a meteorite, congratulations! But before you get too excited, it’s important to have your find identified by a professional. Meteorites are valuable, and you don’t want to accidentally sell a priceless space rock for a few dollars at a garage sale.
The best way to get your meteorite identified is to take it to a local museum or university with a geology department. They’ll be able to confirm whether or not you’ve found a meteorite, and they may even be interested in purchasing it from you.
So, there you have it! With these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to becoming a meteorite hunter. Happy hunting!