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Rare 40-Pound Meteorite Identified in Oregon

meteorite2.JPG Rare 40-Pound Meteorite Identified in Oregon

July 30, 2010 Updated May 31, 2010 at 12:54 PM PST A 4.5-billion year-old piece of our solar system's history has scientists in Oregon absolutely riveted - and where it was found is perhaps the more intriguing part of the story.

Researchers at Portland State are marveling at an amazing meteorite picked up by a rural resident from the side of the road. Don Wesson found the rock 11 years ago in rural Morrow Count. Since then he's used it in his garden.

Now he's just learning about its rare qualities. It was just the fifth meteorite ever found in Oregon, and it's worth between $25,000 and $40,000.

For now, Wesson plans to hang on to the space rock, but he has donated some brilliant samples of the meteorite to researchers.

Even though Oregon's meteorite complement is limited, this new discovery is in very good company. The Willamette Meteorite was discovered in the state in 1902. At 15.5 tons, it is the largest meteorite found in the United States and the sixth largest in the world. It is currently on display at the American Museum of Natural History. For a look at the Willamette,

click here

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