Why this rock is probably not a meteorite:

Well, this one might be. The smiley face is a magnet. The smooth surface it's stuck to is possibly a fusion crust. Those could be regmaglypts in the lower photo. The reddish color might be a weathering feature.

The rock was found by a farmer in a cotton field in the flat part of west Texas.
What is it?

It could well be an ordinary chondrite. I'd sure like to see a sawn face of this one to see if it's reddish throughout or contains metal.

August 4, 2008

It's a meteorite!

I put the finder of the stone in contact with a meteorite collector I know from Texas. The collector purchased the stone and had it classified. It's a 5.4-kg ordinary chondrite (H4 or H5) that may be another of the Seminole stones.

Some of you may be saying, "But, you say elsewhere that if it's reddish, then it's probably not a meteorite!" A meteorite that's been in the ground for a long time (hundreds? of years) will probably turn rusty red on the outside. The photo above is a polished face of a slice through the meteorite. The inside is gray, with thousands of tiny specks of iron-nickel metal. That's why the magnet sticks to the meteorite and why the outside looks rusty in the top photos.


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.