How to tell if a rock is a meteorite: an expert’s guide
If you think you may have found a meteorite, there are a few things you can do to confirm your suspicions. Here is an expert’s guide on how to tell if a rock is a meteorite:
1. Check for a fusion crust. Meteorites often have a black or dark brown “fusion crust” on their surface. This is caused by the extreme heat and friction that the rock experiences as it enters the Earth’s atmosphere.
2. Look for regmaglypts. Regmaglypts are small, shallow depressions or indentations on the surface of a meteorite. They are created when the rock is heated and ablated by the atmosphere.
3. Feel the weight of the rock. Meteorites are often much heavier than normal rocks of the same size. This is because they are denser, due to their iron-rich composition.
4. Use a magnet. Meteorites are attracted to magnets, due to their iron content. If the rock you’ve found is attracted to a magnet, it’s a good indicator that it may be a meteorite.
5. Have it examined by a professional. The best way to confirm that you’ve found a meteorite is to have it examined by a professional. They will be able to tell for sure based on the rock’s physical characteristics.
If you think you’ve found a meteorite, congratulations! You’ve discovered something that is truly out of this world.