395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

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395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on December 31st, 2013, 6:57 pm 

Hello folks,
I have been researching meteorites for more than a few years now and I believe I have found one. I say stonyiron due to process of elimination. It is magnetic, leaves no streak, and is quite heavy for it's size. I have contacted dozens of institutions to no avail. But what's puzzling is the lack of consistency of their answers. I am sure this is a meteorite. I am not sure what kind of meteorite it may be. The only piece I've ever seen like it in all the institutions and on the Internet was a mesosiderite. But it was just a picture. I am also seeking insight on how the whole verification/classification/submission/naming process works. I've found most people to be tight-lipped about this. I have two videos if anyone would care to see (and hear!) it. Go on YouTube and search Keith Caverly. 395 lb meteorite will also get you there. Any information would be most appreciated.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on December 31st, 2013, 7:46 pm 

Interesting find. How did you come by this?
Link is to your u tube post http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KGUH1vHIvk It does have a very metallic sound to it. Any more to the story.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 1st, 2014, 11:20 am 

The origin of the specimen, a local man was digging a fire pit near his back door and found this! He dug it out but all the holes were filled in with dirt. He drug it over to the treeline and there it sat. Over the course of the next few months the rain washed the earthly material out of the holes and he then realized what he had found. So needless to say this is not a recent fall. The fusion crust has deteriorated and I think this is causing some confusion to some of the professionals I've contacted. So, that's the beginning of my journey, I could use some advice on where to go next. Thanks folks and keep watching.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on January 1st, 2014, 4:03 pm 

Someone else was here asking about an interesting rock or meteorite they found. I wonder what happened to them. They were going to keep in touch but I haven't heard from them lately. I'll try and find the thread. Where abouts are you and your find? The other person was in Florida as I recall.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 1st, 2014, 11:13 pm 

My apologies. I should have mentioned the thumb of Michigan is my home and where I came by this piece. Keep the great questions coming. Thanks.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on January 2nd, 2014, 4:34 pm 

No need to apologize. I can't seem to find the other thread. What are your plans for it. I bet you could get a few bucks for it.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 3rd, 2014, 6:08 am 

I suppose my ultimate goal would be to take it to sale. I've spoke with an auction house that specializes in meteorites. But we can't advertise it as a meteorite until it's been verified. I've sent away many pieces, few were returned. The really frustrating part is when these institutions can't or wont tell me how they arrived at these conclusions. I've been told is igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary at different times. In answer to your question, if it was an ordinary chrondite in poor condition it's worth a lot as mostly they are sold by the gram. I'd rather sell it as a whole specimen, though I think I might do better piecing it out. Do you have any thoughts on the verification process? Any info would be most appreciated. Thank you.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on January 3rd, 2014, 12:28 pm 

Well I'm no expert and not even that knowledgeable on the subject, but I do think no sedimentary rock would sound like this thing when struck. That is a very distinct metallic sound, almost a bell like quality. I think it would have had to be forged by heat. I hope a local expert here will stop by and provide some insight.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 4th, 2014, 9:41 am 

I must say, I agree no sedimentary rock would sound like that. It wouldn't be as heavy either. I can almost put my arms completely around it with about an extra four inches. At it's thickest point is 14". Most earth rocks this size weigh considerably less. Spacerocks.org has a density test in which you suspend the rock in water on a scale and divide the weight by the weight suspended in water. I actually did this test to the whole piece! The results were 3.023 which is in the meteoritical range. And I should mention it's 393 lbs now because we broke a few pieces off for testing. This was also surprising to me because of the small amount of material that was removed. Breaking off a piece was no easy task. I also placed a piece under an acetylene torch. The outside melted slightly but would not blow away with the oxygen. When cooling a black, shiny susbstance emerged. I'm not entirely sure what that all means but I know that most common rocks aren't going to do that. You can visibly see metal in it when under an eyepiece or sometimes with just one's naked eye in the right lighting. I've read that an expert could tell 100% by looking at it under an electron microscope but I am very reluctant to send out any more pieces without getting some kind of feedback on what are they going to do and what I will receive like paperwork. I get a lot of nos but I have not once had anyone tell me which test they did to arrive at their conclusions. You're right, I need an expert to take a serious look at this. I think it's one of the rarer types of meteorites and being so big it throws some of them off. A chemical analysis from a lab might help but I probably wouldn't understand it myself and would then need someone to interpret the findings. I'll see you later. Thanks.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 4th, 2014, 10:27 pm 

For those that are just joining the conversation, this meteorite can be seen on YouTube. Search 395 lb meteorite or just search my name, Keith Caverly.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 9th, 2014, 8:37 pm 

Although I do suppose for the correct offer I would sell it right now, no insulting offers please. I have been looking into this for more than a few years now and I have to admit, I'm hooked! Meteorites are beautiful things!
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on January 9th, 2014, 8:43 pm 

What's your price? I'm not buying, just wondering want your thoughts are on values. For most of us it is just a rock. It's the story that would be of value to a collector.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 11th, 2014, 10:05 am 

I guess I haven't put that much thought into it. I can tell you a bottom of the barrel chrondite is worth a dollar per gram which would put it in the hundred thousand dollar range. If I am correct and it's a mesosiderite then it's potentially worth eight or nine digits which is more money than I'd ever spend. Martian and lunar meteorite are worth considerably more yet. I have had a few offers in the thousand dollar range which I only consider to be an insult. Now most mesosiderites are considerably smaller and the size alone adds value. For instance, a fifty pound diamond would be worth much more than it's carat weight. I guess I'm trying to say the whole is worth more than the sum of it's parts. So, I really couldn't give a price without definitely knowing which classification this piece falls into. That's not to say I wouldn't know the right price when I heard it. I think there is different material inside of it. What that may be I'm not sure. Examining the pieces I've broken off as far as weight, density, and square area I think if the outer material represented the whole, the entire thing would weigh considerably less. I think there is a batch of metal inside of it or possibly some other denser material. I have considered cutting it in half to find out, but sure this is easier said than done. I have access to a water saw but I've been reluctant to do this. I don't think it would hurt the value any, but I'm no expert. I am very curious about what's inside of it. All the heat and pressure this thing went through can form very valuable materials. I was hoping someone who knew a little more about it would stop by and join our conversation. I need to get some more insight on the classification of this. Keep the great questions coming! I do appreciate it!
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on January 11th, 2014, 2:46 pm 

My first thought was cutting it in half would be damaging, but it may be the 2 pieces may be worth more than the whole. It would sit flat for display and in more places. It would satisfy your curiosity. So let me know how it goes.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 11th, 2014, 9:21 pm 

I also think the water saw would leave a fine enough cut that it could be put back together. I haven't committed to doing this as of yet. Knowing this meteorite it would probably satisfy one curiosity while igniting a few more. Ha!
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on January 11th, 2014, 9:37 pm 

Never mind the crazy glue. Let's look inside?
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on January 12th, 2014, 6:47 pm 

I just saw a show on meteorites. Seems you are lucky to have something that just landed, without doing tremendous damage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adHQcLCQkRs
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 14th, 2014, 7:42 pm 

It may have, this was found on an old family farm. I can't say for sure when this object hit or that the farmer found it where it hit. I can say that the house near where it was found has been occupied for a few decades. It was in their backyard. But this also leads to the weathering of fusion crust. After long enough in the weather there's not much left. I think this also throws some people a little. A fresh fall would most likely sport a shiny, black crust. But this is not a fresh fall. I should probably find out when the house was built. I would think it was before that. You've got me thinking now. Thanks.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on January 14th, 2014, 7:54 pm 

I'm curious, so I hope you'll keep me/us updated.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 17th, 2014, 8:25 pm 

It was in the late sixties.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 19th, 2014, 4:22 pm 

Apparently Michigan had a few meteor showers in 1965 and 1966. I found an old geological survey report from back then, which included several eyewitness reports of a fireball lighting up the sky for a few seconds followed by several sonic booms. One was in Detroit and said the object fell to the north, another was in Ontario and said it fell west, yet another was in Bad Axe and said it fell south. This is the region that I found it in. For all I know this piece may have landed 10,000 years ago, but it's a fascinating idea that someone may have seen it fall. I know that's a pretty big stretch of the imagination, but to think a record survived after all that time. They had plotted trajectories based on these sighting and they all either hit the thumb or lake Huron. Well that's enough fantasy talk for one day.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 24th, 2014, 1:56 pm 

I had a friend with a good metal detector use it on a piece this week. It had a weak reading but went off on iron and nickel! This is exiciting news for me and has only aroused my curiosity once again. He has several metal detectors and said he's going to get a better one in a few weeks. I am going to have him try it out on the whole meteorite. Does anyone have any thoughts on testing for nickel? I bought a bottle of dimethylglyoxine but I could only get a reaction from a piece of pure nickel. I tried several items including some 316 stainless steel (which is even better than 18/8) with no reaction. I know for a fact there's nickel in that, but got no reaction. They have better test kits, but they are quite expensive for just one test. I know there is iron present because a magnet is drawn to it and will pull a compass. Any thoughts on testing guys? Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on January 31st, 2014, 9:50 pm 

After talking with the landowner more and a few of his older neighbors, I've found out that the whole area around the house was a farmed field. It was deep enough however I believe any implements (like a plow) would not have disturbed it. At least there are no marks on the meteorite from such an occurrence. It stands to reason though, that if it was a crater (assuming he found it where it had crash landed of course) that years of turning the soil and the rain washing in the crater (if present) would have destroyed any evidence of a crater. Again, that is assuming this piece fell from the sky in last few centuries. Anything older than that and who knows really?

That's all for now, Keith.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on February 6th, 2014, 7:22 pm 

I originally started this thread in the hopes of finding someone knowledgable on this subject, to get closer to some real answers, and to impart what I've learned to others. Are meteorites an inherently dull subject? This item is a true passion of mine, and I would like to discuss it more.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Watson on February 7th, 2014, 2:52 pm 

Hi Keith,
I've been following this with interest, and I'm sorry I have nothing to contribute. Perhaps this is posted in the wrong section to attract the interest of someone that can offer some help. I'll see if it can be moved to a more appropriate section.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Obvious Leo on February 7th, 2014, 4:13 pm 

I'm also following with interest but haven't got much to contribute since I don't know much about meteorites. However I did recently read of an asteroid 100km in diameter which was almost entirely composed of nickel and iron. I can't remember the name of the the thing but was struck by the coincidence that this is exactly what our planetary core is presumed to be made of. I can understand how this happens in a planet but how the hell could this happen in an asteroid? There was some speculation in the article that it was in fact part of a planetary core at some stage in its history and the planet got smashed to smithereens. There doesn't seem to be much evidence to support this notion but an alternative explanation doesn't come readily to hand either. Any thoughts?

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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Marshall on February 7th, 2014, 8:09 pm 

Hi Keith,
I'm not an expert but your post and YouTube got me curious and I noticed where you said you had contacted some INSTITUTIONS about authenticating.

So I googled to find out what those might be and came up with NEMS (new england meteoritical service)
http://www.meteorlab.com/METEORLAB2001d ... cation.htm

they say to break off a chunk that is fingernail size, and not larger than a golf ball, and mail it to them and they will test it and tell you the results within a couple of weeks, for $20.

Also if you pay them more ($30) they will do it in 3 days, some deal like that.

I wanted to find if they were REPUTABLE or not, so i googled some more and found a site the LISTS some US and Canadian labs that verify and classify meteorite samples. Their directions were to remove a chunk that is about the size of a "quarter" (a 25 cent coin) and send it to any of these places:
http://meteorite-identification.com/verification.html

They listed NEMS near the top of the list!! They said that some of the other labs might take a long time because of backlog, and funding cuts. So this site seemed to be saying that NEMS is reputable.

Knowing very little about it, I tend to trust the listing at http://meteorite-identification.com/verification.html
and I think maybe I would call some of the other labs near the top of the list and try to get an honest reaction about whether NEMS is trustworthy. If their competitors seem to respect it I think I might be willing to spend the $20. Or maybe while I was calling around i might find a service nearer home that was FREE and where they happened not to have a big backlog and could get back to me within a couple of weeks etc.

You may have gone thru exactly those same steps! I don't know exactly what you have checked out. You might give some links to some testing outfits that you have looked into and what their advantages (if any) are. Apparently it's pretty common that folks find something that looks like a meteorite and they want to get it checked and verified. So there are all these places where you can mail small samples.

Also would you like me to move your post to any other part of the forum? I think Anything Science is A FINE PLACE FOR IT. But if you get a notion to move it (to Lounge, or to Astronomy, or wherever) just let me know. Or if there is any other way I can help, as moderator.

For convenience I will post the YouTube link here so I and other people can get to it easily
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KGUH1vHIvk

BTW I don't want to give impression that I have any opinion one way or another about authenticity. I simply do not know enough to have an opinion. I would not bet on it either way without first devoting a lot more time to studying the subject of meteorites.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Marshall on February 7th, 2014, 8:39 pm 

BTW Keith, I'm curious why you called it STONY-IRON type.

As total non-expert just going by Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_meteorite I would call it a straight IRON type.
That article is very informative about Iron Meteorites and some of the pictures vaguely resemble your (although the fusion surface or the cleaning and polishing makes the surface different).

It says that the Iron meteorites tend to be made of iron nickel alloy and to be a mix of two crystalline phases. It is interesting.

At the bottom, at the end of the article, it has a bit about Stony-Iron types, and links to other articles that have photographs of various types of stony iron ones

My naive intuition is that your object, when struck, SOUNDS more like straight iron-nickel than like a conglomerate of silicate rock and metal.

If it was me, I'd either pay to have it tested by a mail-order outfit like NEMS, or ELSE I would find out how to test for the presence of NICKEL mixed in with the iron. If it is pure iron then it would be less likely to be meteorite, I reckon. If there is some acid precipitation or flame test that one could do with ordinary home Chemistry Set, or Community College Lab resources, that would be interesting. If it turned out to contain nickel as well as iron that would make it MORE LIKELY, I think. Just an amateur two cents.
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Starmetal on February 8th, 2014, 4:17 pm 

Watson,
Good to hear from you again! Any thoughts or questions are always welcomed.

Leo,
That is very interesting. If you had a 'name' or possibly a location I could look into it a little more. There are a lot of iron asteroids and other types (only when it hits the earth can it be called a meteorite) out there. It wouldn't surprise me that an iron that big would exist.

It sound perfectly plausible that it could have been part of a large body that was then destroyed. In our asteroid belt, the largest body is the dwarf planet Ceres. It's not a regular planet fir a number of reasons like size but also has not cleared it's orbit of all debris. Follow me on this, say said object was a planet destroyed but then got trapped in a stable orbit somehow like our asteroid belt. Traveling around this new orbit smaller bodies would fall in it's gravity and eventually become part of the whole. Essentially I'm saying that it possibly be a planet once again. Just an idea, any thoughts?

Marshall,
This was my first thread as a new member. At the time I wasn't sure where I should put it. If you think I would have better luck with it somewhere else then by all means please move it. I will gladly defer to your judgement. I was thinking more of not putting it in the wrong place. By the way, I really enjoy this site.

I have submitted a sample to NEMS. I have to dig through my records to find what they said, but I seem to recall them saying they didn't actually test it due to lack of funding. That's after I paid the $30. I did receive a piece of another registered meteorite. I am getting the feeling they are just selling meteorites. When I dig out the paperwork I'll post it here. I have talked to quite a few (not all) of the institutions on the list at your link.

I don't think it's an iron. I say stonyiron due to process of elimination, but that's just an educated guess from an amateur. I went to the Field Museum in Chicago last year. They have on display just about every terrestrial rock and mineral on display in one exihibit and a quite impressive display of meteorites in another. I recall an iron meteorite that was on display out where one could touch it. It was about the size of a common hassock. It looked like a piece of solid iron with a coppery hue. It really looked like a piece of mangled steel/Swiss cheese. It also contained nickel but it think it would have a stronger attraction to a magnet than my piece does. I do think it would sound similar if struck by a hammer. I didn't try this, they have a lot of security. The water test I describe in an earlier post really tells me this is not an iron. It can be found at http://www.spacerocks.org/meteorite-identification.html in short most terrestrial rocks are 2.5 and lower. Most meteorites are 3.0 and above. Now most irons are more dense yet and can score 4.5 and above. I have to use a very strong magnet on my piece, and u think this wouldnt be necessary on an iron.

I used a metal detector on a piece and it did register on iron and nickel. I also bought some solution of dimethylglyoxine but after trying several objects, I realized I could only get a good reaction from a piece of 100% pure nickel. I am currently looking for some insight on nickel testing.

One of your other Moderators pointed to a place that could give me a complete chemical spectral analysis with an electron microscope for $200, which seems quite reasonable. But before I do that, I'm looking for someone who could then interpret this data for me.

I would never expect someone to come to a conclusion on it's authenticity based on a one minute video and would probably question it if you did.

Thanks for all your help guys and keep the great questions and comments coming!

Keith
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Re: 395 lb stonyiron meteorite!

Postby Obvious Leo on February 8th, 2014, 5:25 pm 

Starmetal wrote:Leo,
That is very interesting. If you had a 'name' or possibly a location I could look into it a little more. There are a lot of iron asteroids and other types (only when it hits the earth can it be called a meteorite) out there. It wouldn't surprise me that an iron that big would exist.


Sadly I can't remember where I read about it because I read all over the place and never make notes. However when something strikes me as curious I generally have a reliable memory for the gist of it, if not the source of the information. I clearly recall the 100km diameter and I clearly recall that its composition was remarkably similar to earth's inner core. I assume it was located in the asteroid belt but I wouldn't swear to it, although it's hard to imagine where else it might be. If it was on a collision trajectory with earth that would have stuck in my mind for sure. It would make one hell of a mess.

Regards Leo
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