A meteorite hit near me the other morning...

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Zarpheous

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I am a logger in Northern Minnesota and on Monday at about 3:30am I was outside my machine when I saw a fireball going across about five hundred yards away. It was white, trailing red and was popping and chunks were fizzling and breaking off. It ripped into the trees about 50 feet to my left and about 75 feet up. I could hear the cracking and popping and breaking of wood. 3 hours later when it was light, I found where it had impacted the ground and bounced 2 times (left 18" scars in the topsoil) and the last bounce sent it down a deep mountain canyon. I think I want to go down there looking for it...It will take the whole day to climb down into there....Is it worth it....other than cool to have? Might it be worth something? It is on Mine property and I am the only one that is interested in getting it...Most loggers don't give a ****!
Also, if it weighs more than 120lbs, It would be very difficult to bring it out on my own...I think I could do it but it would take 3-4 days.

I'd be interested in hearing any advice...I have always been interested in this stuff...
 
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Zarpheous

Guest
I wanted to add that based on some of the broken tree limbs and brush, this rock looks to be about 10-14 inches.
 
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CalliArcale

Guest
If it is genuinely extraterrestrial in origin (i.e. not debris off an aircraft or spacecraft) then it could be worth a lot of money -- be careful who you let know its location until you've had a chance to secure it. People spend lots of money on meteorites, and there are serious meteorite hunters who, if they read your post here, may attempt to figure out where the object is so they can get it for themselves. Scientists who study meteorites often have to race to get debris from a reported fireball before the profiteers get there.

I suggest contacting someone at the university over in Duluth (UMD) to see if there's an expert willing to either identify it from photos or come out and look at it directly. There may also be someone involved with the MINOS project in Tower that could help, though they tend to be particle physicists, not geologists or planetary scientists.
 
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clint_dreamer

Guest
Definitely worth the climb. If you can please post photos if you are able to track it down.
 
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kg

Guest
Any tips on how to handle a suspect metiorite? Is there something Zarpheous should do or document to preserve anything of scientific interest? Should he be concerned about contaminating this specimen?
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
Absolutely. Don't touch it. Put it in a plastic bag or wrap in foil to redcue possible contamination.

My 2 cents, this is extremely unlikely to be a meteorite; the description just doesn't match the physics involved. Still, it can't hurt to look.
 
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silylene

Guest
Everything what MW said: bag it carefully, don't get skin-oils on it.

Please take a lot of photos of the damage you found, and of the meteorite before it is touched.
 
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a_lost_packet_

Guest
Awesome!

Whatever it is, the best advice is to document, preserve and secure. If I were you, I would also enlist the aid of a qualified professor/researcher at a University near you. Take them with you, document everything with pics, measurements, etc.. Collect any debris using sanitary and secure procedures. (Follow their lead if they know what they're doing.) Don't reveal the location of the impact either before or immediately after you have collected your data. (If it's real, it will be released after everything is completed. ) Retain ownership (if possible) but allow the material to be examined by qualified researchers to determine its origins and authenticate it.

If it isn't a meteorite well, the adventure is worth the time anyway. Heck, it could be some interesting piece of space-junk. (That may necessitate EXTRA special precautions for hazardous material.) But, if it is, it could be worth a good bit and would certainly be worth any researcher's time to help you with.
 
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