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 much more common than most people realize, and with a little know-how, they’re not too difficult to identify. Here are a few tips to help you determine if that rock you found is indeed a meteorite:
1. Meteorites are almost always very dense. If your rock is much lighter than other rocks of similar size, it’s probably not a meteorite.
2. Meteorites often have a fusion crust, which is a thin, blackened layer on the surface of the rock. This happens when the rock is heated to very high temperatures as it falls through the atmosphere.
3. Meteorites often have a strange, pitted or grooved surface. This is caused by the intense heat and pressure that the rock experiences as it falls to Earth.
4. Meteorites are often magnetically attracted to metal objects. This is because they often contain iron or nickel, which are both magnetic materials.
5. Meteorites are often much older than the rocks around them. This is because they come from space, where they’ve been exposed to the vacuum and extreme temperatures for billions of years.
If you think you’ve found a meteorite, congratulations! These rocks are quite rare and are prized by collectors and scientists alike. However, it’s always best to have your rock identified by a professional before making any claims.