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Rye Patch chondrite or scrap?

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Hi again,

Ok, promise im not lazy, just stupid... although i am trying my best to improve on that, being bestowed with an unnecessarily thick skull surrounding a smaller than usual cavity is hampering things. I read the information in the identification thread and the links posted by Mike, Thank you for posting everyone. I hope to someday get this right now all i know is how much i don't know.

I was wandering aimlessly around the rye patch area a couple of months ago doing my best to avoid digging any holes and enjoying the quiet when my bliss was interrupted by a faint warble from zed near a little sage bush. Very magnetic, same story, different rock... yada, yada, yada, in my pocket.

OK everyone, I guess I'm asking you all to bash my hopes and dreams... what do you think? again these pictures are from my iPhone shot through a small magnifier, however they look pretty ok.

Thanks in advance

clark

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Me too , when it comes to this subject... my totally unprofessional opinion is the outside resembles a fusion crust and the inside could be construed as having some chondrules. It's really hard to say as it's so small.

THe contrast between the thin black crust that has mostly rusted and the lighter colored interior is telling( to me).

Hi again,

Ok, promise im not lazy, just stupid

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not really knowing what I'm looking at, I can envision it flying into the atmosphere melting and frying as it speeds toward earth. truth is I read to many comic books when i was a kid and if my mom had not tossed them in the trash when i was at my grandparents house id be rich now (had them all from the late 1950's to the mid 1960's). its fun dreaming...

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Pictures are too blurry to see anything clearly and definitively.

If it snaps super hard to your magnet it's probably old man made metal.

Can you take clear photos outside in the sunlight? Don't use a magnifier, take the pict at max resolution as close as you can to the rock and still have it in focus with you iphone, then crop the pict down to be just the rock and it should be pretty clear. For example, I just did exactly this with my Android phone and look at what a clear photo is is compared to what you've provided:

v2wvon.jpg

Edited by Mikestang
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These pictures are a little better, but try as i might my iPhone 5 wants to focus on the paper and not the rock. this possible chunk of iron was down about 6 inches in the nevada desert, past documented chondrite finds are classified as H-4 and look kind of like this, but i imagine if i looked hard enough an ice cream cone would look like one too. Magnetically it takes a pretty good tug to get it off a very strong rare earth magnet, so if you say it should not pop, id say this one does.

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Still pretty blurry, try holding the camera back further. The important thing is to get the rock in focus, not how close you are. Once you get an in-focus picture, crop it down and it will appear to be magnified like mine. On a separate note, so much for all the Apple fanbois touting the superiority of Apple's cameras...

File a window into a flat side and let's see the inside. Probably not a meteorite, but worth looking at a bit more.

Magnetically it takes a pretty good tug to get it off a very strong rare earth magnet,

Sounds like iron scrap to me, but we'll see.

Edited by Mikestang

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Sounds like iron scrap to me, but we'll see.

WOuld Fe scrap have (somewhat) clearly defined minerals/crystals inside a white matrix?

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Sure, why not? Old slaggy stuff erodes away to form unusual things in the desert.

But what rock are you talking about? Not this one I'm sure. Nothing is clearly defined in these pictures, there is no photo of the interior to reveal if a matrix is present, and "crystals" are so rarely encountered in "common" meteorites (common is relative, they are so rare most people will never find them) you could effectively say they don't exist.

Edited by Mikestang

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The 2nd pic of the 1st/2nd set, Mike.

I hadn't considered slag. But there seems to be clearly defined, different colored "minerals" within the white background.

I suppose the dark crust could be the demarcation between different zones where the rock was formed or secondary coating/desert varnish, or... but

Let's see what filing it brings.

BRyan

Edited by weaver hillbille

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Ok had to take my daughter to the doctors for a checkup. sorry for the delay. I took some more pictures after filling a small spot, hope its a big enough area to see inside. it looks very homologous to my untrained eye and my guess is that some grain structure would be a good sign and it looks very tight and even polished down to 2000 grit, but i am clueless.

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Looks solid metal inside, so most probably man-made because the outside shape and surfaces to not say meteorite to me. What ya'll are calling "crust" is likely just black oxidation. Fusion crust on an iron meteorite appears much different than fusion crust on a stone, and I can see how you may be mistaking the black stuff for fusion crust.

You can try etching it, get yourself some ferric chloride from Radio Shack, I can give you quick directions if you need them. But be cautioned that there are some man made junk that will etch a pattern that can be mistaken for the W. pattern.

A really good thing would be to have it shot with an XRF gun, you've got a perfect window for it now. An XRF analysis would be pretty definitive.(

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Only 15 bucks for XRF at you r local( well mine anyway) prospector shop and some jewelers maybe, call around. It looks like bright shiny steel.

Mike, I was reading that link I found and there are 2 other acid mentioned- hydrochloric and Nitric. I assume the ferric chloride is the least damaging/safest to use, while still etching the sample?

Edited by weaver hillbille

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Thanks guys,

as an educational thing for me i really appreciate all the great help and advice... as i was polishing it down i was disappointed to see the inside not match the outside, because of the outside oxidation pattern i expected some coarsely mixed granulation, even though as i read the information i now know the material can become visually homologous until etched. if the outside texture (fusion crust) was influenced by the inside material independent of atmospheric contamination as in the case of meteorite there would be a direct relationship, right? earthly objects would tend to look like this one. the only thing going for it is the thin layer of black oxidation between the rusty outside and the shiny inside, it resembles something i commonly see where there is non-ferris metal tarnish, but 2000 grip sandpaper can make dried dog crap look like gem stone if you are careful i'd guess. the cost of testing is negligible, so for the sake of taking the mystery to final end it might be fun to see what year of tractor this broke off of and test the alloy. I don't feel to bad, i think this would fool quite a few and I enjoy the heck out of this so i know it won't be the last piece of junk to find a home in my pocket.

thanks again, life's a journey

clark

(this took to long to write)

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This has nothing to do with meteorites, but rocks are rocks and if you like one type odds are you find interest in another. I have many friends in china who own factories and are some of the most respected carvers in the country. if you take a look on my jade website you can see some of the carvers and studios on the blog page (some of my ceramic work is hidden elsewhere on the site as well). the work under carvings are examples of the work they do, all of these pieces are now in private collections. I don't do sales from the webpage, but i do answer a lot of questions from people from all around the world about jade. Ive looked at thousands of pieces and have a little better idea of what I'm seeing (unlike meteorites) and then I send pictures or samples to my friends in China for conformation, jade is also very difficult and there are many pitfalls and millions of dollars are lost by people way more knowledgeable than me, so I always check with China to be sure. anyway, if I can be of any help and an information resource to anyone on the jade end of things, let me know and I will do the best I can.

www.thejadedealer.com

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Only 15 bucks for XRF at you r local( well mine anyway) prospector shop and some jewelers maybe, call around. It looks like bright shiny steel.

Mike, I was reading that link I found and there are 2 other acid mentioned- hydrochloric and Nitric. I assume the ferric chloride is the least damaging/safest to use, while still etching the sample?

Yea, the fancy guys use nitric acid diluted with alcohol, and that stuff is pretty nasty. Ferric chloride is much safer, but it can stain stuff like your clothes or counter top if you're not careful.

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I have ferric chloride in my studio, it is used raku firing ceramics. when using ferric chloride it is sprayed on the pottery just after pulling the piece from the kiln when the glaze is molten. its call ferric chloride fuming, just as red heat begins to fade around 1100 f, ferric chloride is sprayed directly on the still glasslike surface and produces a very attractive luster to the ceramic glaze. I get it at radio shack so I imagine it is the same stuff.

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I have a buddy who does an XRF for $10, plus shipping, let me know if interested.

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DolanDave,

thank you, if i can't find anyone in the local area when i finely get around to it i may take you up on that.

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I get my XRFs for free at my gold buyer/coin dealer. They want to know what they are buying, ALWAYS.

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thx, mn90403, they would need to know for sure. I remember some buyers were fooled by a scam a couple of years ago, a guy took genuine swiss bars, cut them in half, machined them hollow and filled them with something, i don't remember it being lead. when they were finished you couldn't tell they were tampered with and they had the proper certificate, a whole lot of them were on the market.

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put some sulfuric acid on the window polished into this specimen and it shows a rectangular band and some small striations. still have not taken it to have the metal tested.

not that it means anything, but the piece this guy found looks exactly like mine in every way and they were found within a few miles of each other, so they came from the same source at least (the same tractor???), so who knows... time for the next test.

A new ---and very tiny--- Majuba??? October 21, 2005

Northwest of the Rye Patch Reservoir on the north side of I-80 between Lovelock and Winnemucca, Nevada, is an area that has been hit hard for gold nuggets ever since metal detectors were invented. The nugget patch is spread in spots over an area of 15 to 20 square miles. It has been hit very, very hard for a very, very long time with every successive generation of metal detecting equipment.


Now, most everyone in the meteorite community knows that it is virtually inevitable that an area of this size hit this hard for this long WILL yield meteorites. It has. I don't know the full totals, but I am aware of no less than 6 finds (and these may all be paired).


For about 3 years, whenever possible, I have searched all over the area without any luck (except for about 20 nice gold nuggets). Recently several key lines of evidence converged. After a lengthy embargo, locations were published for Majubas 1, 2, and 3 in the latest Meteoritical Bulletin. Then, in April, John Wolfe found two more, one of which is currently offered for sale through Anne Black's Impactika website. The latter includes a photo of John in the find area. I plotted the coordinates for the first three, printed out a photo from the new finds, saught the matching location, and found that all were in a very small area in a part of the nugget patch where very few nuggets exist. I had never worked that area before. The meteorite find area is in the form of a triangle about 2000 feet on a side. The piece described here was found near the center of this triangle.


I worked back and forth between the various find sites with a Fisher Gold Bug-2 metal detector and over a period of about 20 hours found one suspect speck. I may be nuts, and a Ni test is still pending, but I think this is real, and if so, certainly the smallest Majuba yet! (Be certain about this: it was NOT my aim to find the smallest ever. I was kinda hoping for what the Franconia folks (Asher, Baird, & Ortega) just found (mid-October)--- about 600 pieces/26+ kilos in an 800 square foot area!). Oh well. One must start somewhere.


Here it is. My newest pride and joy. Don't laugh---

fingertip.jpg

Okay, that's pretty tenuous for a visual identification, but this thing screams in the metal detector. It is very strongly attracted to a magnet. And when I stroked it on a diamond file, this is what I saw:

close1.jpg

When a stony explodes and goes mostly to dust, the biggest surviving fragments in the dust cloud would be expected to be high-tensile-strength metal blebs, and this looks like a winner. I have found all sorts of cast-iron bits and welding beads and other assorted scrap metal in the general Majuba area, but none look like this, and there is almost no junk metal in the meteorite patch itself.. Check out that metal texture. About 40% of the mass flaked off as "shale" flakes while I filed it (these are being tested for nickel).


What is the lower size limit for a new meteorite find???? This may well explore the limits. It weighs about 0.1 gms ( including the shale) and has a maximum dimension of about 4.3 mm. That's about the size of a BB, but half the thickness. (In the image those are scratch marks from the file showing in the metal).


Don't raise your glasses till we do the nickel test, but I'm willing to bet this is the real deal! Say hello to the tiniest Majuba ever!

If this is paired with Majubas 001, 002, 003, and 004, it is a fragment of an H4 Ordinary Chondrite.


Cheers,

Norm Lehrman

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Finally got around to having this little mystery xrf analyzed at a local pawn shop... Ni 1.53%, Fe 96.76%, Cu .54%, Mn .917% nickel I think is borderline low but I have not been able to find results for confirmed finds from the same area, also the exposed area and what is revealed by filing may affect results? Anyway that's what their equipment analyzed it at.

clark

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OK, so I've taken the xrf results and after much interesting reading I'm still very confused, but learning some new things that will stay somewhere in reach if ever needed again. In reading history and chemical composition of steel, ranges of Cu .5 to 2 percent and Mn at .5 to 13% and Ni in the low percents was a good mix for the military munitions. So, based on the xrf results and the shape of the metal it now looks to me like a small military bomb fragment? The only thing is I'd expect to find many more pieces unless they have all been recovered over the years?

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Thanks for keeping up with this through time, Clark.. It's kinda kewl watching your journey toward a hopefully definitive Dx on either one or two finds..

Swamp

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