[meteorite-list] Indiana Rock Likely Came From Earth, Scientist Says
Ron Baalke baalke at zagami.jpl.nasa.gov
Fri Dec 12 11:31:12 EST 2003
http://www.indystar.com/articles/5/101451-2735-009.html Burning rock likely came from Earth, scientist says By Andy Gammill Indystar.com December 12, 2003 Indiana University scientists have concluded that a 4-inch rock that crashed into a Shelby County construction site probably isn't a meteorite. That leaves an even bigger mystery: where exactly the rock came from, and how it burned itself 7 inches deep into a pile of foam insulation. Bob and Brian Weddle, the Shelby County homebuilders who found it two weeks ago, want to know what the rock is and said they plan to have other experts look at it. Nelson Shaffer, a researcher at the Indiana Geological Survey, took samples of the rock Thursday and examined them at his Bloomington laboratory. Tests suggest an earthly origin, he said. If the rock is a meteorite, it's unlike any ever found before, he said. Meteorites are so rare that Shaffer has found only two since he began studying them in 1974. Shaffer's tests confirmed that the rock contains quartz, which has never been found on a meteorite. Plus, the rock isn't metallic and doesn't have the glassy coating usually found on meteorites, he said. The Weddles have heard from several other experts and called a few on their own to try to find out what the rock is. They have found themselves inundated with calls from the media, meteorite hounds and the curious. An Indianapolis television station offered to take the object to the Field Museum or the Smithsonian Institution for further study, Bob Weddle said. Shaffer said they were right to bring in experts so quickly. Scientists can glean important details about space by studying "fresh" meteorites, he said. For now, the Weddles are trying to manage the rock and its attention while still managing to work on the home where they found it, said Bob Weddle, 51.
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