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12954 Views 9 Replies Last post: Jul 6, 2012 5:18 PM by brettarcher RSS
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Aug 16, 2011 5:29 PM

Answered - Black Rock

Hi There,


Can anyone help identify this rock.It was found in a desert in Qatar miles from any civilization. It is just smaller than a golf ball, black, very heavy for its size and very different from the sourounding landscape (Limestone and sand).




It seems to look like some meteorites I have found on the web. Any opinions would be appreciated.



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 6, 2011 10:23 AM (in response to 407370)
    Re: Black Rock

    Are magnets attracted to it? It does look like a lump of Iron and with the arid conditions it wont rust very quickly.


    It could be naturally occurring but on the other hand a lot of meteorite finds are from desert's. It could be a small chunk of nickel/iron type but you'd need a meteorite expert and almost certainly a small sample to be sent off for analysis to determine this.


    Worth hunting around the area to see if there's any more of it.





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    Aug 7, 2011 5:39 PM (in response to 407370)
    Re: Black Rock


    It could be marcasite, iron sulphide with an orthorhombic crystal structure.


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      Aug 10, 2011 4:37 PM (in response to 407370)
      Re: Black Rock

      Sorry but seeing the other pieces I would go for the naturally occurring theory - the extra pictures look a lot like badly oxidised pyrite (another Iron Sulphur compound but with a different crystal structure to Marcasite) and I think the yellow on your original picture is likely to be Limonite which is one of the products of Iron oxidisation.


      You would expect a nickel iron meteorite to respond strongly to a magnet - pyrite and marcasite do not.


      If you want to hunt for meteorites in the desert I would take a magnet with you but also keep an eye out for the rarer stony type meteorites.


      Happy hunting!





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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 16, 2011 5:29 PM (in response to 407370)
    Re: Black Rock



    I agree with the others that these don't have the characteristics of meteorites and not being magnetic rules them out as meteorites effectively as only a tiny category of meteorites aren't magnetic. If you would still like more information about them, please email me on to arrange to bring or post them into the museum. I've attached an information sheet on meteorites that I hope will help you.



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    Jul 6, 2012 5:17 PM (in response to 407370)
    Re: Answered - Black Rock

    Before spending money ......there seams to be  crystals in the orig picture, which cubic so pyrite or similatr mineral As others have commented. Also metorites don't have external formed crystals, only internal crystals (iron or nickel  metorites )  also they often have olvine minerals, small amounts which can be green or blackish .Saying all that all Iron rusts and is destroyed over time like most other minerals, altered to rust (limonite ) and nickel oxide etc....


    some things u need to do for better id

    • firstly break a fresh surface, post pic (always with most rocks@ metals break a fresh surface tosee  the colour before oxidization occcurs )
    • if its golden color it def aint metorite or sulhur smell
    • Cut a peice in half with diam saw  ... post pics
    • Do a streak test (scratch on white porcelin)
    • check specific gravity
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