You think you've found a meteorite?

The samples below are a comparative guide of common "meteor-wrongs" and real meteorites. (Please allow time for all of the images to load, then click on the picture which most closely resembles your rock in both appearance and texture.) Grinding a small window on a corner of the rock will help. This test is not conclusive but may help eliminate a definite "meteor-wrong".

Testing Facilities

If after reviewing these pages you feel you have a meteorite, the next step is to have a sample properly tested . Testing is usually free. Verified meteorites should be classified. Classification benefits science and establishes value for your meteorite.

It should also be noted that many local colleges (even those with a geology department) have rarely seen a meteorite, nor do they usually have the experience to be able to recognize and/or study a real meteorite. Many aspiring meteorite owners have been given false hopes when a rock has been inspected and described as "probably a meteorite" by a well meaning local college.

If you do not wish to send the specimen away, then check with your nearest natural history museum or college geology department and ask them if they have a meteorite collection and the facilities to recognize and authenticate (not give their best guess) a meteorite before handing over a sample.

Samples sent for testing don't need to be large, a quarter sized fragment is all that is needed. But please ensure that the sample is actually representative of the rock and reveals the interior composition (eg. do not send a rusty old flake that's fallen off the outside).

Return to Suspect Meteorite Tests

My Thanks to Rob Elliot

Home | Testing | On eBay | Suspect Auctions | In the News | Web Mis-Identifications | Hot Rocks | I.D. Links