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Meteorite Identification


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Hi,

I found this rock on my property in New Hampshire. The property is new construction and was dug up. It's heavy (roughly 1.5 pounds), very magnetic and was found with red rust mostly all over it. I cleaned it good and then cut a window into the side...also sanding and polishing it. It appears to have pure iron or steel in the middle with a gunmetal blue "crust" around it. The rock is fairly smooth with no sharp edges. The only big red flag is the fact that it has two flat parallel sides. 

The first couple images(with the dark spots) were after an attempt at etching with Ferric Chloride.
 

Can you help identify this as a meteorite?
 

Thanks

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Have you done a steak test on it? 

When you were cutting into it to create the window, what color were the filings?

It looks like magnetite which is an iron mineral.

Edited by Morlock
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Not sure what the filings color was (I used a Dremel saw). I actually did a streak test this morning on the back side of my toilet bowl cover (I read somewhere you can use it because it's porcelain). It left a dark streak. 

 

I did alot of reasearch on this and my thoughts are that the outer layer is made up of magnetite (explains the dark streak). I read iron meteorites have a fusion crust made up of magnetite. I don't think natural magnetite would have a solid core like my rock, but I'm no expert.

 

I'm thinking I might cut a chunk off near the window I created and send it to a metorite testing lab.

Edited by rockman12
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I think it is an artifact. It does not have the shape of a met and it does have a uniform thickness. I see a completely rusted surface that goes deep into the rock as a black rind. Not a fusion crust.

IMHO the "dark" streak was caused by the thick oxidized rind on it. Not the metal on the inside. If you streak just the core and do not cut across the shaled out crust on it you will probably find it streaks metallic.

The streak was dark but "dark" is not a color. My guess is that streaked black and red and left a very "dark" red stained streak. That would indicate rust.

Magnetite is not metallic. It is sub-metallic. So I am going to call it a rusted metal artifact.

 

 

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I dont comment too much on the meteorites section because i really dont know much about them. But if it were iron or steel, it would throw sparks when grinding it. Does a meteorite make sparks when you grind it? I would think not because of the high nickel content but like i said, i dont know much about them.

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2 hours ago, nugget108 said:

I dont comment too much on the meteorites section because i really dont know much about them. But if it were iron or steel, it would throw sparks when grinding it. Does a meteorite make sparks when you grind it? I would think not because of the high nickel content but like i said, i dont know much about them.

Nickel iron makes a huge shower of sparks on a grinding wheel. Nickel is a very common alloy of steel and makes it hard as heck. Nickel is very common in both meteorites as well as man made steel. 

A stone meteorite would probably not make sparks because metal content can vary widely. But an iron darn sure would. This would be a suspect iron IMHO.

It is impossible to tell the difference between terrestrial and meteoritic iron without a professional analysis. The metals look the same and act the same. Fusion crust and regmaglypts tell you more about the origin of a hunk of metal. If it LOOKS like an iron then that is your best indicator without fairly extensive research and professional opinions. This one does not look like an iron meteorite to me. That does not mean it is not a meteorite for sure. I just see no indication that it is one.

As a piece of metal rusts away it can develop a thick, black oxidized crust that is tell tale of a rusted artifact. Like this one. A fusion crust on an iron meteorite is blued/blackened steel and super thin. This is a shale rind that penetrates deep into the iron. I suppose all meteorites rust away though and they would probably have a bad black rind on them too. So there is that. :idunno:

I have not seen every meteorite and I realize there are exceptions to every rule. I also don't know jack. But IMHO this is a dead ringer for a metal artifact that has rusted beyond recognition.  I don't think it came from space. 

 

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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Ok. I thought nickel itself had very little to no spark. And when it did spark on the grinding wheel, it was the material from the wheel. I was thinking it would not create a spark until it was alloyed with a ferrous metal. Cool, thanks Bob.

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4 hours ago, Bedrock Bob said:

A fusion crust on an iron meteorite is blued/blackened steel and super thin

I know close to nothing about metallurgy and meteorites. The cleaned metal has a blue tinge to the outside. Wouldn't that mean the outside has been "blued"?

I just decided to chop off a much larger hunk to get a better look and to make a sample to potentially send to lab. It's tough as hell to cut with my dremel (there were definitely lots of sparks). Took me over an hour.  The main section seems to have very little of a "rind" or crust. What's weird to me is how the rock has smooth curves yet isn't rusted through. I can't think of anything man made that would be like that.

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Edited by rockman12
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I know little about meteorites but work with iron almost daily. I too believe it's an artifact.

 Forging was so much more common a hundred years or more ago. If you needed a specialty tool for a job, you made it. Looks a lot like a wedge a wood cutter would use. Not a splitting wedge necessarily, but perhaps the type of wedge used to help direct a trees fall?

 

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12 hours ago, nugget108 said:

Ok. I thought nickel itself had very little to no spark. And when it did spark on the grinding wheel, it was the material from the wheel. I was thinking it would not create a spark until it was alloyed with a ferrous metal. Cool, thanks Bob.

Nickel in a meteorite is alloyed with iron. For all practical purposes meteoritic iron is identical to earthly iron alloyed with nickel. That is a generalization that someone will surely take exception to, but for the layman they can be considered the same. You simply can't differentiate the iron in most iron mets from terrestrial iron without lab analysis. By looking at it and working with it, it could be the same stuff. 

Fusion crust, regmaglypts flow lines, olivine crystals and overall form are what differentiates an iron meteorite from an artifact in the field. The material on the inside appears identical to any other terrestrial iron. Iron mets and terrestrial iron BOTH are alloyed with nickel.  Nickel test is not a definitive test for an iron meteorite like it is with a stone meteorite flecked with metal.

 

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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12 hours ago, rockman12 said:

I know close to nothing about metallurgy and meteorites. The cleaned metal has a blue tinge to the outside. Wouldn't that mean the outside has been "blued"?

I just decided to chop off a much larger hunk to get a better look and to make a sample to potentially send to lab. It's tough as hell to cut with my dremel (there were definitely lots of sparks). Took me over an hour.  The main section seems to have very little of a "rind" or crust. What's weird to me is how the rock has smooth curves yet isn't rusted through. I can't think of anything man made that would be like that.

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Heat does not penetrate a meteorite. At all. Meteorites are ice cold in space. They are travelling at cosmic speeds and suddenly they collide with our atmosphere. The friction of the air ablates the surface as it heats it and the heat is stripped away with particles of iron... Just like the wood chips carry away the heat from a  saw blade. The heat caused by friction of the air does not penetrate the rock because the friction is only on the very surface and strips away any heated material. There is no conductive nor radiant heat. Consequently, fusion crust is paper thin. It is only what was actually in contact with the air when the lights went out. 

The "crust" is way too thick and has changed the metal on the inside. This does not happen with friction. Examine the boundary between the interior and the crust. You see where the oxidation has penetrated the metal. It is chemically changed. Fusion crust does not do that. Oxygen does.

This is a pitted, rough surface from oxidation. Not a smooth, burnished surface from friction/ablation.

If that was fusion crust on an iron meteorite you would see sculpted regmaglypts and burnishing from friction with the air. If it was spinning coming in it would have sculpted it with wings and arms. If it came in stable you would see orientation and flow lines. Maybe a lip where the cold iron caught the ablated particles in an "eddy" where the friction was less.

Iron meteorites have a special sculpted look to them because they don't crack up and shatter like a stone met. The air sculpts the heck out of them. Kinda like ice melting in running water. The forces of our atmosphere are very obvious on every iron meteorite I have ever seen. I am not seeing any here.

I see pits and oxidation from chemical decomposition proceeding inward from an original form. Again it is just my opinion and I have found only a handful of iron meteorites so my knowledge of them is minimal. My knowledge of rusted junk is extensive though. I am an expert on tramp metal and I can give you an opinion on your specimen with 99% certainty. I have dug a dump truck load of stuff just like it.

As an expert on junk I can certify that as a piece of rusted junk if you would like me to do that. It will only cost $10. Just send me the sample with a money order and I will send you back a certificate and an analysis based on my expertise. It will only take 24 hours from the time I receive your sample.

In the end it will be cheaper and faster than sending it to a meteorite expert. They are not going to identify it for you. They will just tell you it is not a met. I will actually identify it for you and give you a money back guarantee that my analysis will never be proven wrong!

You are not going to get a deal like that anywhere else! Cheap, guaranteed and quick turn around! So stuff your money order in an envelope with that sample and send it my way! Your professional analysis and written report on that specimen is just a few short hours away! :)

 

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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It may be an artifact but I would test it for nickel content anyway. If it tests a significant amount of Ni., I would then compare it to pics of hexahedrites. They sometimes exhibit parallel Neumann lines which are shock-induced by impact events. It would follow that if the parent body was impacted hard enough, it could cleave along parallel lines resulting in parallel surfaces. It's hard to tell from your pics if your stone has a distinct crystalline structure but here is a slice of the Carver hexahedrite. Any resemblance?

Carver.jpg

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Where did you male's get your information about meteorites having to have certain standards to be authentic?

Have read hundreds of analysis's of lunar and Mars meteorites, some have no fusion crust nor nickel, (like mine). Curry's in jail because his did not have at least 13 percent nickel. Yes, been researching his case.

 

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I do get annoyed at absolute statements; If it doesn't attract a magnet, it's not a meteorite... If it doesn't have a fusion crust, it's not a meteorite... If it has vesicles, it's not a meteorite... If etching doesn't reveal Widmanstätten patterns, it's not a meteorite... The list goes on and most, if not all, of those absolutes have exceptions. I wonder how many times I have stubbed my toe on one of those exceptions and kept on walking because it didn't fit any of the more common profiles.

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Have prospected east imperial county desert for over thirty-five years. Have a pile of meteorites that me have found, they are not scarce. Since finding the 2005 smoke tree fall in 2008, these are worth collecting, they came from an asteroid or were ejected from Mars or the Moon.

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You male's remind me of an imperial county building inspector.

He red tagged an old woman's trailer because she has a pile of fossilized wood next to her trailer. She told him it was fossilized wood, he answered, all wood burns.

She was summoned to appear before the county supervisors.

Me appeared for her. Told them what happened, they recessed to the hall-way. Sent someone in to tell me the sheriff was contacted, me said good, they came back in and dismissed the summon.

 

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15 hours ago, wet/dry washer said:

You male's remind me of an imperial county building inspector.

 

 

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that you think the Earth is flat.

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