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iron meteorite? Mojave Desert


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Hi Big Dog,

It looks very terrestrial to me. I think it's magnetite, hematite, limonite, or some other iron-oxide. The Mojave is an EXCELLENT place to hunt for meteorites. Keep bringing back suspicious stones, and remember to get coordinates. Sooner or later, you're going to come on to the real deal.

Good Luck, Ben

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hey bdog, whats the size of that dude,here is a rock i found in the mojave rands area.its the size of a baseball.just tad bigger.it weighs just a hair under 2 1/2 lbs. extremely heavy.i go out to rands all the time,planning a trip tomorrow. and rest of the week.i live in bakersfield so its not too bad a drive daily.just the gas lol.

john

post-604-0-91552100-1295924287_thumb.jpg

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Hi Big Dog,

It looks very terrestrial to me. I think it's magnetite, hematite, limonite, or some other iron-oxide. The Mojave is an EXCELLENT place to hunt for meteorites. Keep bringing back suspicious stones, and remember to get coordinates. Sooner or later, you're going to come on to the real deal.

Good Luck, Ben

Ben,

Sorry I forgot to mention that it is not magnetic but magnets attract to it. On the pice I cut I can see tiny flakes. I will do a streak test on some tile tonight. Also I will cut the pice completly off and post some pics of it and the flakes. How else can you test to see if it really is a meteorite?

Thanks,

Brandon

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hey bdog, whats the size of that dude,here is a rock i found in the mojave rands area.its the size of a baseball.just tad bigger.it weighs just a hair under 2 1/2 lbs. extremely heavy.i go out to rands all the time,planning a trip tomorrow. and rest of the week.i live in bakersfield so its not too bad a drive daily.just the gas lol.

john

John,

its 4" x 2" , Have you explored Atolia at all? I used to live in Ridgecrest but I moved down here. Ive been all over that desert like it was nobodys business with my truck.... pinicals,panamint mountains,red rock, the list goes on.

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Found out in Mojave desert. weighs 632 grams. Any Ideas?

I am still very new at this but here are my rule of thumbs:

1. When it doubt, dig it out.

2. Cut, grind, file, sand or do what you need to do to make a small window in it. For every chondrite I have studied so far, I can tell what it is with a x10 view easily. For those I've found I can see with no magnification. The difference becomes really clear with earth rocks. You can grind a rock, swear it is metal until you look at it with at least a x10 power view. If you see flakes they will be shinny not rusty.

3. If is a suspect iron, find someone that can do a clean cut and etch (or maybe just polish) to verify patterns. I've seen a few really lousy cuts.

Most irons I have seen (a few hundred now), are very obvious. But I am a student at the subject (always will be) so I am learning all the time.

Do the steps above and you will soon know! seems to be working for me

Good luck!

Jim

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Well I just did the streak test....nothing....put deep groves in the back of the ceramic tile...possibly a stony-iron?... mesosiderite? Ill cut it open later and post pics soon.

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Well I just did the streak test....nothing....put deep groves in the back of the ceramic tile...possibly a stony-iron?... mesosiderite? Ill cut it open later and post pics soon.

For a steak test I use 400 grit wet/dry sandpaper (follow manufacture's instructions) and pick a knob on the rock, rub in a line on the paper like writing with a pencil, a few strokes. For rocks that stick to a magnet it is usually red for hematite, gray for magnetite or a mixture of these 2 extremes. looks like iron ore, picked up a few chunks many years ago when looking in that area, we keep it on the meteorwrong table.

but, to make things more confusing/interesting, we have found rusted meteorite material where the iron+nickel has been altered to oxides so you can get a streak of red, gray or orange (limonite/goethite). For these materials a nickel test gives a strong positive. Often folks are looking for a simple “yes, no” answer, science says “it depends”. With some oxidized brenham the pallasite structure is still visible but the metal has converted to oxide, Huckitta is a great example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huckitta of this structure. Haven't seen a mesosiderite oxidized in this fashion but I'd guess its structure would still be visible too.

What the other guys said, keep going, good area, ...

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The cut...jacked up my diamond blade mad0229[1].gif ....should I eaven go as far to sand and etch? im sure its a meteorwrong :(

Hi Bdog!

Sorry to hear about the blade. If you get a chance, visit my Franconia link on my webpage; http://desertsunburn....org/index.html .

The first video shows my first "real" space rock. I made a lot of mistakes with this rock....one being cracking it in half! It may have already been fractured, but I sure helped it along. Anyway, take a look at the small window I put in it. That is all you need to start with. I did this on a Darex grinder with a green wheel. For the price, I can buy a lot of green wheels for the price of one good diamond wheel. I then smoothed it up just a little bit more on a belt sander which broke a pully in the process. You will see the insides enough for a positive candidate. Still, it was pretty obvious right off the bat. BTW,this rock just got authenticated in a lab (I only did this as part of the educational process) with yet another chunk out of it which will turn into a pendant for my wife as soon as I get it back from the lab and find a rock person that can do this work.

A. The detector went nuts

B. It was very magnetic

C. After taking in situ pics holding the thing made it clear it was definitely heavy compared to earth rocks and it obviously had chondrules, etc.

While your rock turned out to be a rock, there is great value in it.

The challenge of the hunt, the excitement of a possible find, the learning experiences....all of that has value.

If that had been a meteorite, the stuff above would be the greatest values, imho. However, because it was not necessarily a pretty rock, it's value money wise, again, IMHO, would have been as a cutter rock where selling polished thin slices would be my best guess at what would return the most money. I've seen some of the same big rocks for sale a long time. My point being only a small test window is needed.

Keep hunting!:thumbsupanim

Cheers!

Jim

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The cut...jacked up my diamond blade :*&$*(: ....should I eaven go as far to sand and etch? im sure its a meteorwrong :(

Try a regular angle grinder with a thin cutoff wheel. They work great and if you screw one up you have lost a whole $2.50. You can also get dry diamond wheels for that angle grinder for about $30 that will put a heck of a window on a rock quickly.

I polish with a piece of wet rub paper glued to a stick.

That is a hematite nodule. No doubt. I bet the cuttings from that diamond wheel were deep rusty red. The metal on the inside is not free metal but an oxide...Hematite. It is grey like graphite and not shiny metallic. A few hours after cutting it got considerably darker didn't it?

Take a piece of wet rub paper finer than 220 and rub the cut surface. The dust will be red. A hematite streak.

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