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.
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.
Thanks for the replies. We found a few more of these types of rock close to each other:
The biggest of these is fist sized. They are not attracted to magnets.
So I guess the only way to identify them categorically is to send one to an expert. Does anyone know the address or how much it would cost?
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to bring or post them into the museum. I've attached an information sheet on meteorites that I hope will help you.
Thanks for the invitation, my daughter and I were regular visitors to NHM when we lived in England. We will definatley take up the invitation.
This weekend I will get some more examples of these rocks as they all share the characteristics of being black / brown / dense / melted but some are flat, very smooth, very rough, crystaline, shiny, dull etc but they all come from an area where they stick out like a sore thumb against a sand and limestone landscape.
I will contact you by e-mail.
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....
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