WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND OR HAVE FOUND A METEORITE
From enthusiastic people who think they have found a meteorite. We were all beginners once, and at Aerolite Meteorites we are eager and willing to advise you on how to proceed if you do find a meteorite. We buy meteorites, and we also assist with identification, classification, and valuation. With many years of experience in the meteorite business, we can help you place your meteorite with a respected museum or academic institution, buy it, or help you sell it, depending on your preference. Aerolite is an internationally known and respected meteorite company, and we will keep your find in the strictest confidence if requested to do so.Please read this entire page carefully. We have compiled this information to help you learn about meteorite identification, and to save your time, and ours. Meteorites are very, very rare. I know people who have hunted for years and never found one. I also know people who have found one completely by accident, but let's be realistic — the odds are against it. Out of the hundreds of people who have contacted us with suspected meteorite finds over the years, only four turned out to be genuine meteorites, and two of those were frauds — the "finders" bought meteorites at rock shows and later claimed to have discovered them in the wilderness. Experienced meteorite researchers and collectors can easily spot that kind of trickery. Many honest, well intentioned people come to us seeking advice, and most can find the answers to their questions, quickly and easily, on this page. If you have found a meteorite, we want to work with you! But please spend a few minutes looking at the following information, and try some of the simple tests described here, before getting in touch with us
A meteorite is a piece of iron, stone, or stony-iron composite which has fallen to Earth from outer space. Most meteorites are believed to have originated within the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter, and were once part of a planet or large asteroid. A few meteorites come from the Moon and Mars, and a few others may befragmentsofcometarymaterial.Meteorites are valuable both to science and the collecting community. At Aerolite Meteorites, we believe that important new meteorite finds should always be made available to academia for study. Identification and classification of a new meteorite requires that only a modest piece (typically 20 grams) be given to a lab or university for analysis. We have close professional relationships with a number of respected academic institutions, and can advise you on how best to proceed. But first, let's be sure what you have is really a meteorite
Meteorites contain a great deal of extraterrestrial iron, even the ones which look like rocks (stony meteorites). Just like a common nail or ball bearing, they will easily stick to a magnet, but they are not magnetic. Test your find with a good hardware store magnet, or a rare earth magnet. Do not use one of those floppy calendar magnets from the front of your refrigerator. An extremely small percentage of meteorites (far less than one in a thousand) do not show strong attraction to a magnet. They are so rare that we usually discount anything that will not adhere to a magnet. Those meteorites look similar to volcanic rocks from Earth, and are not metallic in appearance. If you have found something that looks like metal, but does not stick to a magnet, it is not a meteorite.Meteorites are much denser than ordinary Earth rocks. The thing most people say when they hold a meteorite for the first time is, "Wow! It's so heavy!" The unusual weight is due to high iron content. Even stone meteorites will feel heavier in the hand than most Earth rocks.Meteorites likely traveled in space for millions of years before visiting us here on Earth. They were bathed in cosmic rays, but are not dangerous or radioactive. Some meteorites, such as Canyon Diablo from Arizona, contain micro diamonds but those gems are nearly invisible to the naked eye and can only be seen after cutting a specimen. To the best of our knowledge meteorites do not contain emeralds, gold (except possibly as a trace element), miniature fossilized aliens, insects from Mars, or common earth minerals such as quartz. If your rock looks just like other earth rocks, it probably is one. Meteorites look and feel different from the ordinary rocks around them.