E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and include:
- Photos of the specimen(s), including an object for scale
- The location from which the sample was obtained
Do you think you may have found a meteorite?
Meteorite discoveries are extremely rare! If you think you’ve found an unusual rock, please use this page to guide your identification process. We’ve put together a few guidelines to help you decide if the rock you’re holding is, in fact, a meteorite. Please note, the Pacific Museum of Earth is not equipped to properly analyze the mineralogy and/or chemical composition of meteorite specimens, and therefore does not offer meteorite identification services.
Below are guidelines for meteorite identification put together by the University of Alberta:
1. Does the specimen feel unusually heavy for its size?
- Yes = possible meteorite. Many meteorites, particularly iron meteorites, are quite dense and feel heavier than most rocks found on Earth.
2. Does the specimen attract a magnet?
- Yes = possible meteorite. Almost all meteorites contain some iron-nickel metal and attract a magnet easily.
3. Can you see gray metal specks shining on any broken surface of the specimen?
- Yes = possible meteorite. Most meteorites contain at least some iron-nickel metal. These fragments may be seen shining on a chipped surface.
4. Does the specimen have a thin black crust on its outer surface?
- Yes = possible meteorite. When a meteor falls through Earth’s atmosphere, a very thin layer on the outer surface of the rock melts. This thin layer is called a fusion crust. It is usually black and has the texture of an eggshell.
5. Does the specimen appear to have ‘thumbprints or dents’ on its surface?
- Yes = possible meteorite. Often, when a meteor falls through Earth’s atmosphere, these thumbprint-like features called regmaglypts form on the surface.
6. Does the specimen have any holes or bubbles in it?
- No = possible meteorite. Meteorites do not have holes or bubbles. Slag from industrial processes usually has holes or bubbles.
If the answers to questions 1 and 2 are No, then the rock is almost certainly not a meteorite. If the rock is actually a meteorite, then the answers to most of questions 1 through 5 should be Yes, and question 6 should be No.
Please refer to the following links for more in-depth information about meteorite identification: