Why this rock is probably not a meteorite:

This is a sawn face of a 1-pound chunk of metal that someone sent. The width is 2 cm. The finder thought it was an iron meteorite.

There are 4 things about this object that argue that it is not a meteorite. (1) Though not so evident in this photo, the surface is much too rough for a meteorite. (2) There are too many holes - void spaces - and they are irregular in shape. Iron meteorites aren't so full of holes (see Campo del Cielo, Glorieta Mountain, and Gibeon). (3) If you can see through the saw marks, there's some fine-grained texture (the squiggly lines) that suggest this thing was flowing while it was partly solid. Such a texture is never observed in an iron meteorite. (4) Finally, on the right there are globs of copper imbedded in the iron! Iron meteorites don't contain be globs of copper.
What is it?

Something man made, like industrial debris or the product of an intense fire that incompletely melted and mixed the metal.


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.