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pRoDiEuS

Meteorite Hunting Advice Needed

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Hey everyone, 

I have a question about meteorite hunting. Although I have been collecting rocks and fossils since I was a kid. I have just recently got the bug for meteorite hunting this winter. I am being very impatient and I don’t want to wait for summer to look for micrometeorites or regular meteorites. Is there a way or preferred types places to look in the winter months for micrometeorites as well as regular meteorites? Or am i going to have to wait until summer?

Does anyone here hunt for meteorites in the winter? If so whats your game plan when going out?

-Cheers

 

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When you live in a desert winter is the best time to look. :arrowheadsmiley:

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Lol no doubt. I would love to come down to the states and scour the desert for meteprites one day. What about snow and ice covered places?

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Unless it's Antarctica or a fresh witnessed fall (and it hadn't snowed since), you wait til spring.

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 Im going to attempt to capture some micrometeorites tomorrow luckily Mother Nature will be working on my side tomorrow  we will be experiencing  almost Monsoon like rain of up to 5 in the roof where I work is large channeled and smooth which will concentrate the force of the water coming down in the channels hopefully causing the micrometeorites to Tumble down the channels into the gutter where I strategically placed a magnet that will hopefully capture the micrometeorites as they tumble by. I have access to slide microscopes and after the rain I will take the magnet out and inspect it under the microscope for micrometeorites and if I see them I'll snap some pictures for you!!! Funny part is the magnet was already picking up tiny objects as I place it in there which I believe it a good sign but we shall see!!!

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Posted (edited)

99.999% of what you capture on a roof is going to be human industrial by-product.  Unless you have access to a SEM it's all but impossible to determine you have a legitimate MM.

There was a great post on the MetList about MMs years ago, but I can't track it down.  In the meantime I can refer you to https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/maps/article/viewFile/15566/15554

Quote

however, the identification of dust particles recovered from the Earth’s surface as micrometeorites can be made on one or more of a number of criteria. Features that strongly suggest an extraterrestrial origin are any of: (1) the presence of a partial or complete shell of magnetite around MMs, which is thought to arise from entry heating (Toppani et al. 2001; Toppani and Libourel 2003), (2) the presence of Ni-bearing iron metal, and (3) a chondritic bulk composition for major and minor elements, at least for particles with a small grain-size relative to particlesize. Features that are less determinative are: (1) high CaO, Cr2O3 olivines and very FeO-poor olivines that are exceedingly rare in terrestrial rocks (Brearley et al. 1998), (2) evidence for surface heating consistent with atmospheric entry, and (3) spherical particle morphologies. Spherical particle morphologies are particularly ambiguous since anthropogenic particulates, impact spherules, meteorite ablation spheres and even some smallscale volcanic dust may have similar morphologies. Ironrich industrial/diesel spherules are, for example, very common in the terrestrial environment and many consist primarily of magnetite and are thus mineralogically indistinguishable from some melted micrometeorites. Isotopic data of iron-rich spherules recovered from the deep sea have confirmed their extraterrestrial origins (Clayton et al. 1986; Engrand et al. 1998, 2005; Herzog et al. 1999; Raisbeck and Yiou 1989). These make up a large fraction of the deep sea spherules (25 to 50%), but are present in abundances of a few percent in polar regions (Genge et al. 1997a; Taylor et al. 1998). In early collections in continental areas outside the polar regions, iron-dominated spherules were found to be abundant, and studies have shown these are of anthropogenic origin (Fisher et al. 1976).

an·thro·po·gen·ic ˌanTHrəpōˈjenik/ adjective adjective: anthropogenic (chiefly of environmental pollution and pollutants) originating in human activity.

Edited by Mikestang
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Posted (edited)

Mike I agree, the reason I'm trying is because I read a article about some guy who would wash off his terracotta roof after long periods without rain and collect micro meteorites by getting on the roof then spraying it down capturing "micro meteorites in the gutter". The photographs he took of them looked like Metallic spherules with what I would describe as a patina metallic appearance, I can't imagine it's all fiction and dust never makes it down to earth because I don't see why it can, earth is a great place to land. Honestly man made pollution makes more sense to me.

 

    But you know what for the hell of it I'm going to do my own research and check out the results myself and share them with you!!! Sounds good gals and guys!??? 

Edited by Rocky
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1 hour ago, Rocky said:

 Im going to attempt to capture some micrometeorites tomorrow luckily Mother Nature will be working on my side tomorrow  we will be experiencing  almost Monsoon like rain of up to 5 in the roof where I work is large channeled and smooth which will concentrate the force of the water coming down in the channels hopefully causing the micrometeorites to Tumble down the channels into the gutter where I strategically placed a magnet that will hopefully capture the micrometeorites as they tumble by. I have access to slide microscopes and after the rain I will take the magnet out and inspect it under the microscope for micrometeorites and if I see them I'll snap some pictures for you!!! Funny part is the magnet was already picking up tiny objects as I place it in there which I believe it a good sign but we shall see!!!

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I am very interested to see what you come up with. I have read that 1 micrometeorite falls ever 1 square meter on earth every year. So with a big roof and if the roof has been there a long time, from what I have read is you have a good chance at finding some. I can't wait to give it a go this summer. I have a bunch of locations available to try out. I have access to a big roof at work but I don't want to try there. It is a plywood mill and I will most likely find welding and grinder debris. I am going to stick to homes far from industrial stuff. 

Happy hunting and don't forget to post your finds:old:

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Rocky,

You will always find black, magnetic sand particles on your roof and everywhere else. None of the first ten million or so are micrometeorites.  They are terrestrial.  Drop a neodymium magnet anywhere in the dirt anyplace in the US and it will be covered in black magnetic particles, none of which are micrometeorites.  You'll find spheroids and many other cool shapes if you look closely. Don't be fooled. They are from the Earth.

billpeters

 

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13 minutes ago, billpeters said:

Rocky,

You will always find black, magnetic sand particles on your roof and everywhere else. None of the first ten million or so are micrometeorites.  They are terrestrial.  Drop a neodymium magnet anywhere in the dirt anyplace in the US and it will be covered in black magnetic particles, none of which are micrometeorites.  You'll find spheroids and many other cool shapes if you look closely. Don't be fooled. They are from the Earth.

billpeters

 

   Like I said before Bill, not sure if your trying to deter me but I'm going to try out the experiment to see what I find, not everyone here has access to microscopes and large conducive roofs, I do so I'm gonna do this and take a look and share it here. Im well aware of dropping, dragging and moving magnets through the dirt and the results my friend. I don't see anybody else with there hand up here trying to do this.

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According to Jon Larsen. The guy who wrote "In Search Of Stardust" he said you can find micrometeorites pretty much everywhere. You just need to look in the right spots. This guy has found thousands of them. I believe to prove how common they really are he even went on to NASA's roof and found some. Sounds pretty promising if you do it right I think. Also when your looking at almost microscopic dirt particulates, 10 million doesn't seem like very much lol. Either way it's something fun to try. Even if you find just 1 I think it's worth it. 

I ordered his book. I am going to give it a go and see how it turns out.

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35 minutes ago, pRoDiEuS said:

According to Jon Larsen. The guy who wrote "In Search Of Stardust" he said you can find micrometeorites pretty much everywhere. You just need to look in the right spots. This guy has found thousands of them. I believe to prove how common they really are he even went on to NASA's roof and found some. Sounds pretty promising if you do it right I think. Also when your looking at almost microscopic dirt particulates, 10 million doesn't seem like very much lol. Either way it's something fun to try. Even if you find just 1 I think it's worth it. 

I ordered his book. I am going to give it a go and see how it turns out.

Well of course you would find them at NASA, since they're sorta "insiders" in the space field they probally got a discount and special ordered them!!! :brows::4chsmu1:

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Like I said, without a SEM you can't know what you have, you cannot identify a micrometeorite by how it looks.

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Long time ago, before Al Gore invented the internet, I read an article about the black dust you find in the morning on a white flower could be a micrometeorite.

10 - 60 tons falls on the earth daily, which is like taken a coupe of huge dump trucks and spreading it over the entire surface of the earth.

I am interested to see what you both find out.

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Posted (edited)

I watched a video today that had a meteorite expert on it talking about meteorites. One of the things she said is it is very common to find micros in your roof gutter or on the sides of your driveway. According to this lady she said these micros can be identified pretty easily because they will be almost perfect little spheres as well as magnetic. I do know that welding and grinding particles are sphereical as well though. I think as long as you look in areas away from industrial manufacturing and stuff. The odds are probably pretty good of finding meteorites. I agree though you can never be 100% sure until they are tested. However I have a Campo Del Cielo meteorite fragment that I got from a geologist, but unless I take it in and have it checked for myself I can never be 100% sure about that either. I am no expert but from what I have read and the videos I have watched all said micros are very common and easy to find. So who knows. 

Edited by pRoDiEuS

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15 hours ago, Mikestang said:

Like I said, without a SEM you can't know what you have, you cannot identify a micrometeorite by how it looks.

I agree Mike, looks alone won't mean a thing. I'll take microscopic pictures and post them under the assumption they aren't meteorites so at least we can take a good look at what is there. I have a slide prepared already but the power is out here to over 100,000 people so I don't know when I'll get the micro pics.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/2/2018 at 8:37 PM, pRoDiEuS said:

I think as long as you look in areas away from industrial manufacturing and stuff. The odds are probably pretty good of finding meteorites.

You have to go to the polar regions to be "away from industrial stuff", and even there you'll still find pollution by-products.  The odds of finding industrial waste are good, micrometeorites not so much.

You cannot identify a MM visually, despite what any video you may have watched claims.

Edited by Mikestang

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Posted (edited)

    Okay my friends,  I cannot say I'm a good public speaker nor do I claim to be a scientist but I created three videos and a series of a few picture to give you a idea of the scientific method I'm using to try to accomplish finding MMs if they are even possibly there. I gave it my best shot and within the week I will post picks of the slide under the scope. Because the power I couldn't use the scope, and since the particle are irregular shapes I needed to lacquer the particles for transport to the slide so the would fall off once dried so the view maybe skewered once under the scope compared to dry particles. Please pardon some of my pronunciation of pipette I believe maybe the way I said it is a New England thing. I'm trained in water chemistry for pools, reef tanks, and fresh water environments.

 

 

 

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Edited by Rocky
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Awesome experiment Rocky! I like the way you sorted them. I can't wait to see the slides when they are ready. Hope you get some interesting finds. 

-Cheers bud

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On 2018-03-01 at 9:29 AM, pRoDiEuS said:

 I am being very impatient and I don’t want to wait for summer to look 

Meteorite hunting might not be your thing. I have hunted some very good areas in this world, 10 hours a day solid, for weeks, and come up with nothing...then on day 15 I find a 100 grammer. The question is, can you make it to day 15 😜

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40 minutes ago, munroney said:

Meteorite hunting might not be your thing. I have hunted some very good areas in this world, 10 hours a day solid, for weeks, and come up with nothing...then on day 15 I find a 100 grammer. The question is, can you make it to day 15 😜

I am patient while searching and I could search days on end no problem. I also know I am likely to find nothing for a long time. When I said I am impatient I meant I am impatient about having to wait until summer to do it. I just want to get out there right now and do it because I am excited. This fall i took a week off work and sat out in the bush all day waiting for deer in -30 Celsius for a week straight and came up with nothing until the following week.  I have the pacience for meteorite hunting.

that 100 grammar would be awesome! Do you have pics?

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1 hour ago, munroney said:

Meteorite hunting might not be your thing. I have hunted some very good areas in this world, 10 hours a day solid, for weeks, and come up with nothing...then on day 15 I find a 100 grammer. The question is, can you make it to day 15 😜

Well said munroney!!! I've been searching so long!!!  Patience is a virtue and you need to look now!!!

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Here is a little sample. I had 5 min on a low power microscope this morning. I'm really not happy about the images and also what I can see under low power. Let see what happens understand higher power!!! The resolution needs work!!

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I think the images look good. But I cant tell. Did you find anything in there? Also are you planning to post more photos for this project?

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54 minutes ago, pRoDiEuS said:

I think the images look good. But I cant tell. Did you find anything in there? Also are you planning to post more photos for this project?

Yes I will! I'm going to run this under a more powerful microscope and get better pictures most likely Saturday. I can't wait to see these particles closer.

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