Why this rock is probably not a meteorite:

The rock has what appears to be a glassy crust, and it's dark. The ridges and protrusions of the rock have been partially smoothed by abrasion or ablation. But, the rock has vesicles and meteorites don't have vesicles.
What is it?

Don't know. The finder of this rock says that it is one of many that he found in an elliptical pattern in a dry lake bed that didn't have other stones. That's a good story - one consistent with a meteorite strewn field.

Note added later: The finder had the rock analyzed. It has the composition of a terrestrial basalt. The rock was found in a desert. That means that the glassy "crust" is really desert varnish.
Note and photos added even later: The middle photo is another sent by the same finder of a different rock found in the same "strewn field." Meteorwrong 111 is yet another one. (Sorry - this fellow took really good photos and it would be a shame not to use them.)

The bottom photo is one I stole from a website that poses the hypothesis and presents some arguments that the rock and others found with it are meteorites from Venus. (I increased the contrast a bit from the original.) I include it here because of the interesting similarity (!).

Here's my suggestion. Have some good petrographic thin sections made of several samples - sections that include the alleged fusion crust. Have the sections examined by a good petrologist. Fusion crusts on stony meteorites consist of glass. Glass is easy to identify in thin section. If this "crust" is not glass, then these attractive rocks are not meteorites.



Prepared by:

Randy L. Korotev

Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences
Washington University in St. Louis

Please don't contact me about the meteorite you think you’ve found until you read this and this.