Meteorite hunters are people who search for and collect meteorites. Meteorites are pieces of rock from outer space that have fallen to Earth. They can be as small as a grain of sand or as large as a car.
Meteorites are incredibly rare, and only a few hundred are found each year. They are prized by scientists and collectors alike for their unique insights into the formation and early history of our solar system. Meteorite hunters travel the world in search of these rare and valuable space rocks.
Meteorites can be worth a lot of money, especially rare and well-preserved specimens. In 2020, a meteorite found sold for $1 million, or about $1,000 per gram.
|Meteorite Hunting: Where to Find Meteorites in the USA|
Searching for Meteorites
Meteorites are typically dark in color and have a smooth, glassy surface. They may also have fusion crust, which is a thin black coating that forms when the meteorite enters the Earth's atmosphere and heats up. Meteorites can be found in a variety of sizes, from tiny pebbles to large boulders.
How can I get started with meteorite hunting?
If you are interested in getting started with meteorite hunting, there are a few things you can do. First, learn as much as you can about meteorites. This includes understanding their physical characteristics, how to identify them, and where they are most likely to be found.
Second, join a meteorite hunting club or online forum. This is a great way to meet other hunters and learn from their experience. Third, get the necessary equipment. This includes a metal detector, a GPS device, and a good pair of boots.
How to Find a Meteorite
Finding a meteorite can be a challenging task. Meteorites can be very small and difficult to distinguish from ordinary rocks. However, there are a few things that meteorite hunters look for when searching for space rocks.
Look in the right places. Meteorites are most likely to be found in dry, barren areas with little vegetation, such as deserts, mountains, and glaciers. This is because meteorites are easier to spot in open spaces, and they are less likely to be eroded by rain and wind.
Use a metal detector. Meteorites are often made of metal, so using a metal detector can help you to find them. However, it is important to note that other types of metal objects can also be detected by metal detectors, so you will need to examine any potential meteorite carefully to determine if it is genuine.
Look for fusion crust. Fusion crust is a thin layer of black glass that forms on the surface of a meteorite when it passes through Earth's atmosphere. It is a good indicator that a rock is a meteorite.
Check with local astronomical societies and museums. Many astronomical societies and museums have meteorite hunting programs, and they may be able to provide you with information on where to look for meteorites in your area.
What to Look For
Meteorites have a number of distinctive features that can help you identify them. These features include:
- A dark, fusion crust on the outside of the rock
- A metallic sheen
- A magnetic field
- An unusual weight for their size
- A lack of weathering
If you find a rock that has any of these
features, it is important to take it to a qualified gemologist or
meteorite expert for identification. Meteorite hunters often rely on the expertise of
scientists and museum curators to help them identify their finds.
Once a meteorite is found, it is important to carefully identify it and document its location. This information is essential for scientists who study meteorites. Finding a meteorite is just the beginning.
Meteorite must be properly identified and classified. This can be a
complex process, as meteorites can resemble many different types of
Where to find a meteorite in the USA
Here are some specific locations in the USA where meteorites have been found:
The deserts of the Southwest
The deserts of the Southwest are some of the best places in the United States to find meteorites. These deserts are dry and barren, with little vegetation, making them ideal places to spot meteorites. The dry climate also helps to preserve meteorites, which can otherwise be eroded by rain and wind.
Wilcox, Arizona Wilcox is a small town in Cochise County, Arizona. It is located in the Sonoran Desert, about 100 miles from Tucson. Wilcox is a popular destination for meteorite hunters because it is located near the center of the Meteor Crater strewn field. This town is home to the Meteor Crater Museum, which has a collection of over 10,000 meteorites. The Wilcox meteorite strewn field is one of the largest and most productive meteorite fields in the world.
Gold Basin, Arizona
Gold Basin, Arizona, is another popular meteorite hunting destination. It is located in Mohave County, in the northwestern part of the state. The Gold Basin meteorite strewn field is known for its high-quality specimens, including many that are rare and valuable.
Great Salt Lake Desert, Utah
The Great Salt Lake Desert, located in northwestern Utah, is one of the best places in the United States to find meteorites. It is a vast, remote desert with a flat terrain, making meteorites relatively easy to spot. The dry climate also helps to preserve meteorites, which can otherwise be eroded by rain and wind.
The Great Plains
The Great Plains are another good place to look for meteorites. The flat, open terrain makes it easy to spot meteorites, and the lack of trees and other vegetation makes it easy to collect them.
The Brenham, Kansas
The Brenham meteorite strewn field in Kansas is one of the most famous meteorite strewn fields in the world. It is located in Kiowa County, Kansas, and is known for its pallasite meteorites. Pallasite meteorites are a rare type of meteorite that is made up of a mixture of iron and nickel, with olivine crystals embedded in it. Olivine is a type of silicate mineral that is often green in color.
Oklahoma, is a small town located in Caddo County, in the central part
of the state. It is known for its abundance of chondrite meteorites,
which are the most common type of meteorite. The Hinton meteorite strewn
field is one of the best places in the world to find chondrite
Williston Basin strewn field, North Dakota
The Williston Basin strewn field is a large area in North Dakota that is home to a variety of meteorites, including chondrites and pallasites. The Williston Basin strewn field is thought to have been created by the impact of a large meteorite about 50,000 years ago. The impact created a crater that is now buried beneath about 2 miles of sediment. The meteorites in the strewn field are relatively easy to find because they are often exposed on the surface of the ground.
The Rocky Mountains
The Rocky Mountains are a good place to look for meteorites, especially in the high-elevation areas. The thin air and cold temperatures help to preserve meteorites, and the rugged terrain can sometimes trap them in pockets of ice and snow.
The Colorado Rockies are a mountain range that runs through the western United States. The range is home to a variety of meteorites, including chondrites, irons, and stony irons. Some of the most popular meteorite hunting spots in the Colorado Rockies include:
- San Luis Valley This high-altitude valley is known for its dry climate and clear skies, making it a great place to spot meteorites.
- Rocky Mountain National Park This park offers a variety of meteorite hunting spots, including high-altitude peaks, alpine meadows, and talus slopes.
- Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve This park is home to the tallest sand dunes in North America, which can be a good place to look for meteorites that have become buried in the sand.
Sierra Nevada Mountains
The Sierra Nevada mountains are a mountain range that runs through the eastern part of California. Some of the most popular meteorite hunting spots in the Sierra Nevada mountains include:
- Yosemite National Park This park is home to a variety of meteorites, including chondrites, pallasites, and iron meteorites. Meteorites are often found in the park's high-altitude areas, such as Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome.
- Kings Canyon National Park This park is known for its abundance of iron meteorites. Meteorites are often found in open areas, such as meadows and clearings.
- Sequoia National Park This park is home to a variety of meteorites, including chondrites, pallasites, and iron meteorites. Meteorites are often found in the park's high-altitude areas, such as the General Sherman Tree and the Congress Trail.
Once a meteorite has been identified and classified, it can be sold to collectors or museums. Meteorites can be quite valuable, depending on their rarity and size. Some of the most valuable meteorites are those that contain extraterrestrial minerals or that have come from Mars or the Moon.