At boarding school in the sixties, a friend gave me a small thing he said was a meteorite. Only now, I'm trying to properly identify it, and now think it is probably a piece of an iron sulphide nodule. It is not magnetic at all, i.e. not attracted to a big, powerful magnet. I'd love a definitive answer please.
Yes - iron sulphide, in the form of marcasite; not a meteorite.
Read all about it - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcasite
And note the confusion about the names pyrite and marcasite, as explained therein.
Many thanks for that Mike, I appreciate your input.
The daft thing is, for all these years I'd just taken it at face value that it was a bit of meteorite. It's only when I recently decided to make sure, I looked in the book "Rocks And Minerals" that I bought in the Natural History Museum a few years ago. Their photo of an Iron Sulphide Nodule looked the closest match to my widget, hence my post on this site.
Thanks again for your confirmation.
You're very welcome, John.
It is very easy to fail to question things we think we already know.
But it is really annoying when scientists change the name of something we do actually know, which, when we find out, can give the initial impression that we were wrong.
It is just as well the natural world doesn't have to care about how we name things; it gets on with life and evolution just fine in blissful ignorance.