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Could these be meteorites?

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#1 Steve Saturn

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 09:59 PM

OK, I admit. I don't know the first thing about meteorites. I found these out in the desert in south central California over twenty years ago and thought that they were unusual enough to hang on to. A CN member told me about this forum a few minutes ago, so I thought I'd throw this post out for general discussion.

I just tested them with a magnet. No attraction. I did find them with a metal detector, which, as I recall, gave a pretty strong response. Could these be meteorites or just refugees from some earthbound ore deposit?

Thanks for your input!

Steve

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#2 Steve Saturn

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:01 PM

Here's pretty much the same shot with a quarter thrown in for scale.

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#3 Glassthrower

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:32 PM

Hi Steve!

Welcome to the Space Rocks forum. :)

In the last photo, the two specimens to the right of the quarter are almost certainly not meteorites. They don't look like anything I have ever seen in person or in photos. If they are not attracted to a magnet, then it's a safe bet they are not.

The two on the left, going by appearances only, could look like weathered/oxidized meteorites of some type, possibly iron. But if they are not attracted to a magnet, then they are certainly not iron meteorites. Even the most heavily oxidized will show some attraction to a magnet.

So, if I was a gambling man, I'd put my money on them being terrestrial in origin. The bubbly-looking one could be welding slag or some kind of industrial slag. But without seeing them in person and doing some more intensive tests (like a nickel test), there is no way to be sure just by looking at photos.

Whatever they are, they are oddballs for sure and I would probably pick them up and keep them as well. I have a drawer full of oddball suspect "rocks". They are not meteorites, but too interesting to discard.

Regards,

MikeG

PS - keep looking!

#4 Steve Saturn

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:43 PM

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the reply! Don't worry, I'm not disappointed by your thoughts that they're of terrestrial origin ;). Although you can't really tell by the photo, they're all pretty flat (less than a 1/4" thick). That seemed unlikely to me for something that might have fallen from the sky.

They're all quite heavy for their size and were found within a 50 foot radius. I do think that they're naturally occurring though, since I found them walking around in a god forsaken spot in the middle of nowhere.

Steve

#5 meteorite

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 10:57 PM

Hello Steve,

I concur with Mike. They look like meteor"wrongs" to me!

No magnetic attraction, no meteorite. There are a few meteorites which have little, if any magnetic attraction, but they are ultra rare and are primarily silicates

Sorry :-(

-Walter Branch

#6 Steve Saturn

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Posted 19 April 2008 - 11:39 PM

No problem Walter. I look forward to receiving the real one :^)

#7 Jamie76

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 10:20 PM

That one bubbly looking one could be hematite. I didn't realize Walter Branch was a member of CN. I used to be a visitor to the meteorite forum on Meteorite Central but there was too much bickering. I remember your posts as being very informative.

#8 Steve Saturn

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 10:34 PM

Hi Jamie,

Thanks for the reply!

I don't know my hematite from a hole in the ground, but I'll definitely Google it and take a look. Thanks for the tip!

Steve

#9 molniyabeer

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Posted 20 April 2008 - 11:47 PM

A quick test for hematite: take a piece of unglazed porcelain tile (the back side of most tiles usually works) and try to scratch it with the sample. If it's hematite, the sample will leave a distinctly red streak on the plate (no matter what color the bulk sample).

Clear skies.

#10 meteorite

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 11:22 AM

Hi Jamie76,

Thanks very much!


Hi Molniyabeer,

Yep, that's the test for hematite. The unglazed underside of a toilet tank cover works well :lol:

-Walter Branch

#11 Steve Saturn

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Posted 21 April 2008 - 12:35 PM

Thanks guys. I'm gonna pull the lid off my toilet tank when I get home! :woohoo:

Steve

#12 molniyabeer

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 03:00 PM

http://meteorites.wu...du/meteorwrongs

Try this link for more "could this be a meteorite" info and pics. Neat stuff.

#13 Steve Saturn

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Posted 04 May 2008 - 03:47 PM

Great website. Thanks!


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