Six Meteorites Found, More Expected Following Michigan Meteor
21 January, 2018, 08:00
The main pieces were found Thursday by proficient seekers Larry Atkins and Robert Ward of Arizona, as indicated by the American Meteor Society.
He plans to continue his hunt over the weekend.
The first find happened around 9 a.m. EST (1300 GMT), and Atkins discovered a second one himself just 15 minutes later.
Space rock stalkers should look for debris that looks like pieces of charcoal and are heavy for their size. Based on his two decades of experience hunting meteorites - fragments of rocks that remain after some space-rock fireballs break up in the atmosphere - he said there was no question it was from space. But there are Earth rocks that match those descriptions, too, so you have to be careful.
The executive director of Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium didn't see the meteor that zipped across the sky of six states and parts of Canada on Tuesday, Jan. 16. Slisher said he's sending it to NASA scientists, who can analyze its materials. He added that from a quick look at the meteorites, they all appear related and they all looked like ordinary chondrites - the most common type of meteorite found on Earth.
Meteorite hunters who think they struck gold can have their find inspected by experts during a pop-up event from 1-4 p.m. Saturday at the Cranbrook Institute of Science, 39221 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills. The rest they will keep for their personal collections, they said.
"It was incredible", Slisher, 49, said of finding the space rocks. For this MI fireball, Atkins, who spends his winters in Arizona, made a special trip back to his hometown area of Ann Arbor to participate in the search. Using scientific data, Ward and his team found out the meteor fragments.
It can also be financially rewarding. He's already found one possible piece of the meteor and he'll be back out this weekend. His first find came around 10 a.m. - another chondrite, he said. Stone meteorites, however, are much scarcer and priced between $2 and $20 per gram.
"We are happy and excited to report, two meteorites from the January 16th fall have been found in MI", the Thursday tweet said.
Daryl Pitt now serves as the meteorite consultant of the NY auction house Christie's and is among the largest private collectors of space rocks in the world.
" I didn't put two and two together until later on", she said.
Slisher said this was his first successful search for meteorites, after one fruitless search in 1990 in a MI forest and another time in Georgia. Among them was University of MI seismologist Larry Ruff, who thought it would be a fun idea to venture out in the fresh snow and go meteorite hunting.
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