Go Hunting for Meteorites

Do you know the difference between an asteroid and a meteorite?  According to Livescience.com, an asteroid is a rocky object in space that’s smaller than a planet.

     There are millions of asteroids orbiting the sun, some 750,000 of which are found in the Asteroid Belt, a vast ring of asteroids between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. A meteor is an asteroid or meteoroid or other object that burns and vaporizes upon entry into the earth’s atmosphere: meteors are commonly known as “shooting stars.” A meteoroid that plows into the earth’s atmosphere will create a brief flash of moving light in the sky. 

     According to the astronomycafe.net, on any given day the Earth intercepts about 19,000 meteorites weighing over 3.5 ounces. Every year fewer than 10 are ever recovered.

     A team of ASU meteorite hunters found 15 pieces of an asteroid. The first piece was found on June 22, 2016.  They estimated it to be 4.5 billion years old. They searched for more than 132 hours, working with the White Mountain Apache Tribe, according to Elizabeth Giudicessi, an ASU spokeswoman.

      How do you find a meteorite? Livescience.com gives five steps to finding one:

Step 1: Get permission and make sure you have a safe place to keep it.

Step 2: Pick a good spot to find your meteorite.

Step 3: Search for new arrivals.

Step 4: Harness the power of magnetism. Don’t forget your metal detector. Most meteorites have at least a little magnetic force.

Step 5: Share your find with science!

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Karen Golden