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530 Views 6 Replies Last post: Oct 20, 2013 8:44 AM by MikeHardman RSS
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Oct 19, 2013 9:19 PM

Is this a meteorite

Hi

I have found a rock that I think may be a meteorite, but im unsure how to confirm if it is, or how to validate it. (Your website said something about it being identified by the meteoritical society)

The rock is very heavy for its size. It is 1456grams, and approx. 11cmx8cmx7cm.

It is magnetic. It has mineral flecks, no sharp edges.

I've included three pictures.

Any information and advice would be gratefully recieved.

Thanks so much

DSCN4153.JPG

DSCN4163.JPG

DSCN4165.JPG

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 19, 2013 9:42 PM (in response to Hazelw)
    Re: Is this a meteorite

    I don't think it's a meteorite.  I think it's heavy and magnetic because it may contain pyrite.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 19, 2013 9:40 PM (in response to Hazelw)
    Re: Is this a meteorite

    Hazel,

     

    When you say it is magnetic, do you mean it attracts non-magnetized steel/iron?

    Or do you mean a magnet is attracted to it?

     

    If the former, it is probably magnetite.

    Here's anothe example; like yours it is massive (in the sense it shows little obvious structure)

    - http://nevada-outback-gems.com/mineral_information/magnetite_mineral_info.htm

     

    If the latter, I suggest you work through the guidance on these pages; they may point you towards meteorite, industrial slag, or rock/mineral:

    - how to identify a meteorite - http://epswww.unm.edu/iom/ident/index.html (also a useful table of densities)

    - http://www.meteorites.com.au/found.html

    - http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/community/identification/blog/2012/08/15/rocks-from-space--have-you-found-a-meteorite

     

    To determine its density, you'll have to:

    a) weigh it (use grammes) - OK, you've done that

    b) calculate its volume (use a water displacement method; use millilitres)

    c) calculate density by dividing (a) by (b)

     

    Please tell us where it came from (some areas are known for particular rocks/minerals).

     

    Mike

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      • Currently Being Moderated
        Oct 20, 2013 8:44 AM (in response to Hazelw)
        Re: Is this a meteorite

        Hazel,

         

        Rock and metal ore are in a sense the same thing. Ore is rock that happens to have enough metal content of a suitable type to be potentially worth mining (other factors may make a particular ore non-commercial). Note that the metal in metal ores is not necessarily the metal itself; more usually it is a compound, which will be less dense than the metal element.

         

        OK...

        Your specimen does not have common external characteristics of a meteorite (eg. regmaglypts, fusion crust),

        but it has a high enough metal (iron/nickel/cadmium) content to attract a magnet,

        but it is not dense enough for ores such as magnetite, haematite, niccolite or cobaltite.

         

        How about non-ore rocks?

        The density of 3.4g/ml makes it too dense for basalt/dolerite but OK for peridotite. But peridotite would probably be coarser-grained. But we have to allow for the high metal content...

         

        It is looking like another metalliferous rock (ore or not), or industrial slag (which can have a whole range of metal contents and appearances). To distinguish between these, and since there's nothing conclusive in the surfaces seen in your photos, we'd need to look at the minerals and internal textures under a microscope (using a thin section; thin enough to be translucent). That would be difficult for you to do.

        But, a little less complicated, if you could cut the specimen in half and polish (or just wet) the sawn surface, that could reveal sufficient information about the interior to decide between rock and slag. That is still not easy to do, I know.

         

        Anglesey:

        There are a wide range of rock types on the island, including ores, which led to mining industry. "Parys Mountain dominated the world's copper market during the 1780s, when the mine was the largest in Europe" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parys_Mountain). So the location certainly does not rule out slag (many types of which result from metal smelting operations).

         

        Mike

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 19, 2013 10:19 PM (in response to Hazelw)
    Re: Is this a meteorite

    Hi Hazelw

    No interest in Meteorites really but -

    Although your specimen doe's show some moulten rock on the outside it doe's not show the shape of a space rocks re-entry in through the earths atmosphere.

    So could it be from a very old smelting furnace?

     

    Tabfish

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    • Currently Being Moderated
      Oct 19, 2013 10:26 PM (in response to Tabfish)
      Re: Is this a meteorite

      I agree with tabfish.  It doesn't show any signs of coming through the earth atmousphere. I think meteorites are usually smoother.

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