WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A rare meteorite which has been serving as a doorstop for about 30 years turned out to be worth $100,000.
- The owner had the stone tested when he learned that his neighbors were finding and selling small pieces of meteorites, the Central Michigan University reports.
- The man said that he will donate “10 percent of the sale to the university to be used as funding for students in earth and atmospheric sciences.”
A man in Michigan decided to have his doorstop analyzed upon learning that his neighbors were finding and selling pieces of rocks which turn out to be shattered parts of a meteorite.
The Central Michigan University announced that this man’s “rock” is a rare meteorite worth about $100,000. The man had been using the 22.5-pound rock as a doorstop at his farm for about three decades.
Mona Sirbescu, a Geology professor at the Central Michigan University was the first to identify the chunk of iron as an outer-space item earlier this year. Many people had come to her in the past asking her to analyze their rocks but this time she was “exhilarated.”
Sirbescu said she examined the properties of the iron— its weight, magnetism and composition and sent two small slices as samples to Washington, D.C., so the Smithsonian can validate her results. After further analysis, including an acid test to reveal the Widmanstätten pattern (a property of most iron-nickel meteorites that cannot be faked) Sirbescu’s findings were validated.
The state of Michigan was shaken by a meteor flash on Jan. 17, leaving small rocks scattered in Livingston County as it was broken into pieces upon entering the Earth’s atmosphere.
But this man’s ‘doorstop’ was from a much older asteroid. The meteorite’s owner said that he was originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, who bought a farm in Edmore in 1988. He said that the previous owner told him that the doorstop was a meteorite from the 1930s.
“The story goes that it was collected immediately after they witnessed the big boom and the actual meteorite was dug out from a crater,” Sirbescu said.
It is the sixth-largest meteorite discovered in Michigan.
Sirbescu said that they are planning to use a nuclear reactor to try to determine the asteroid’s origin.
The ‘doorstop’-turn-asteroid is now being named “Edmore.”
Source: USA Today