Moldavite is magnetic
How do I recognize a real meteorite?
You have discovered a conspicuous stone and are now wondering whether this could be a real meteorite. If you can answer "yes" to the following points, there is a high probability that it is a meteorite. However, there is often an earthly counterpart to every meteorite, which looks very similar to the potential meteorite. In order to be sure whether it is a real piece of stone from space, some characteristics have to come together:
However, if you cannot answer one or the other question clearly with "yes", it can still be a real meteorite. However, if you can answer all questions with "No", then it is an earthly stone of non-cosmic origin. However, the enamel crust may already be weathered or no chondrules can be seen if it is an achondrite. One of the most important features, however, is that the object is attracted by a magnet, i.e. it is ferromagnetic (it has a magnetic susceptibility). In the case of carbonaceous chondrites or achondrites, however, this effect is so small that the meteorite is best approached to a magnet / neodymium magnet hanging from a 50 cm long cord. A deflection of the magnet should then be observed here. But here, too, it can be an earthly basalt, as these are also characterized by their magnetism. However, the investigation of the place of discovery can also help. Are there perhaps even several similar stones at the place where they were found? If so, it is most likely basaltic rock. In contrast to meteorites, for example, basalts contain round or oval cavities (gas bubbles) inside. But be careful: never simply smash the potential meteorite in two! The depreciation of a broken meteorite is enormous! Cut and grind at most a small corner of the meteorite. If metallic grains can now be seen, this is a further indication of a stone meteorite. In contrast to stone meteorites, iron meteorites do not weather as quickly and, depending on their age, have a layer of rust to which the melting crust has fallen victim. In the case of a potential iron meteorite, a small piece can also be cut off, polished and etched. If special structures, lines or lamellas can then be recognized, it is very likely that it is either the so-called Widmanstätten figures or Neumann lines and therefore it must be a real meteorite. If, however, the structures are missing, either the cut surface of a large octahedrite is too small or it is an ataxite. Then further tests such as the detection of nickel must be carried out.
We are happy to help you with our many years of experience in the meteorite test of your found object and whether it is a real meteorite. Simply fill out our specially developed meteorite test form. We are already looking forward to your find.
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