Experts doubt find is meteorite
By PATRICK THATCHER Staff Writer
January 6, 2008 - 10:54PM
Sarah Alvarado / Staff Photographer
Rick Green, of Apple Valley, cuts a supposed meteorite
in half. Further investigation has all but discredited the
meteorite theory. Some peple think the 5-pound object
Green found at his home is most likely slag
HESPERIA — What appeared to be a meteorite that Rick Green dug out of his front yard last month is probably not.
The news item appeared on the Daily Press Web site and created quite a bit of interest from across the country. Noted meteorite hunter Michael Farmer from Tucson called to get more information.
After e-mailing Farmer close-up images of the supposed meteorite — he determined it is not, though he could not say for sure what it was.
The initial inspection of the metallic five-pound object showed some of the characteristics of a meteorite, most notably a magnetic pull.
More doubt came this week when Jim Young, resident astronomer at the Table Top Mountain Observatory in Wrightwood, visited the Greens and actually handled the black metal object.
“I looked at it very carefully and I’m 99 percent sure it is not a meteorite,” Young said.
He has been at the observatory for more than 45 years.
Speculation from a couple of witnesses and residents of Hesperia is that the object is could be “slag.” Slag is the refuse molten metal by-product that is fused during the metal smelting process of steel manufacturing, and it can resemble a meteorite.
Farmer says it is not uncommon for such objects to work their way up to the surface.
Young says that slag is metal and will have a magnetic pull, such as the item Green found, but nothing compared to the very strong magnetic pull of a meteorite.
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